Russia, Belarus hold joint military drills near Polish border
Belarusian and Russian airborne units are taking part in joint military exercises organised near an area where a large group of migrants are camped on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Friday that the Russian Defence Ministry had said the country's airborne troops would return to their bases once the exercises were over.
It added that the drills were designed to check the readiness of allied troops due to "an increase in military activity near the Belarusian border."
The Belarusian air force, including combat helicopters, are also taking part in the exercises.
According to the Associated Press, deputy permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said that the exercises were a response to the build-up of troops at the Polish-Belarusian border.
On Thursday, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense accused Poland of an "unprecedented" concentration of troops on the border.
It said that controlling migration was no justification for amassing 15,000 troops supported by tanks and air force units.
The European Commission stated that reports regarding joint Belarusian-Russian exercises were "disturbing."
At Thursday's meeting of the UN Security Council, its European members as well as the USA condemned Belarus for the instrumental treatment of human beings, leading to "destabilisation of the EU's external border." Russia, Belarus's main ally, did not condemn the actions of the Lukashenko regime.
The thousands of migrants, brought in by the Belarusian regime, are camping in the border area with the intention of getting into Poland, and then further into the European Union.