Belarus-Russia military-technical cooperation aims to provide military security of the Union State and ensure necessary defence potential, quality training of armed forces, planning and arrangement of joint measures for preventing military threats and aggression on the territory of the Union State. Military-technical cooperation is implemented on bilateral basis within the Union State Agreement and multilateral basis within the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Belarus and Russia have 35 international agreements which aim to harmonise joint military activities in the line of air force and air defence, to solve issues of military-technical cooperation, to execute arms control obligations and military intelligence, to jointly use military infrastructure objects, to provide regional security and to develop unified systems of the Regional Group of Forces, including information support systems for military cooperation between Belarus and Russia and Belarus-Russia unified regional air defence system.
The current legal base of Belarus-Russia bilateral cooperation and multilateral cooperation within the CSTO and CIS allows regulating almost all aspects of military and military-technical relations.
This cooperation line implies activities aimed at joint planning of the group’s use, improvement and support of the group’s command and control, development of unified military systems of intelligence, communications, logistics and technical support, etc., improvement of material resources and service life period of military infrastructure objects located in Belarus which are planned for joint use by forces.
According to annual plans of joint activities for support of the Regional Group of Forces, various joint operational and combat trainings are held. Belarusian and Russian units and military authorities participate in joint exercises and trainings on the territories of both countries regularly.
On 16-22 September 2011, the Union Shield 2011 joint operational exercise of Belarusian and Russian armed forces was held in Russia. It allowed improving interoperability of Belarusian and Russian forces, interaction of military authorities and units, as well as their field craft when accomplishing missions jointly.
The exercise demonstrated strong allied relations and firm positions of the Union State as a key geopolitical subject in Europe.
The Union State’s programme aimed at improvement of military infrastructure objects which are planned for joint use by forces is currently implemented. The programme considers the following key tasks: to bring aviation infrastructure objects which are planned for joint use by the Regional Group of Forces in accordance to exploitability standards; to improve technical characteristics of ordnance arsenals, bases and storage depots in terms of placement, storage, acceptance and issue of armament, ammunition and materiel and to bring them to contemporary standards; to improve quality and regulate the volume of medical care rendered to service members and their families.
Measures to improve the command and control system are taken annually. Special attention is given to equipping command and control posts of the Unified Command of Regional Group of Forces with advanced equipment for data control and processing, as well as to development and improvement of local computer networks and their joining into a corporate area network.
One of the cooperation lines is joint air defence combat duty. Enhanced interaction in this line has prime importance for defence of the air space of the two countries.
Special attention is given to joint combat training.
In 2011, representatives of Belarusian Armed Forces participated in the Boyevoye Sodruzhestvo 2011 joint tactical exercise with combat shooting of air defence forces of CIS member states and the Union Shield 2011 joint operational exercise of Belarusian and Russian armed forces.
Exercises of various levels with combat shooting held at Russian firing ranges allow:
The integrated programme of military-scientific cooperation between Belarusian and Russian Defence Ministries for 2011-2015 is currently implemented. Its execution will result in Belarus-Russia strengthened military-scientific cooperation and will enable to make results of the joint scientific activities serve the interests of Belarus-Russia Regional Group of Forces.
Training of Belarusian service members in military schools of Russia’s Defence Ministry before 2008 was conducted in accordance with the Union State’s programme for training of Belarusian service members in military schools of Russia’s Defence Ministry for 1998-2008. Under this programme, 842 military members: 435 trainees, including 2 Ph.D. candidates and 2 doctor’s degree candidates, and 407 cadets were trained in 38 military schools of Russia.
Since 2008, trainees and cadets have been trained in Russian military schools according to the Decree of the Russian Government No. 832 of 23 December 2004 on preferential training of personnel and technical staff of foreign states in educational establishments of higher, secondary and further vocational education and training (retraining of specialists) supervised by Russia’s Defence Ministry.
At present, 524 military members are trained for Belarusian Armed Forces in 23 military schools of Russia’s Defence Ministry.
In 2011, 127 Belarusian cadets were sent to Russia’s military schools on a free-of-charge basis.
Training of military specialists results in enhanced defence potential of the two countries and, considering economic interests, is practical implementation of the CSTO and the Union State agreements, as well as of Belarus-Russia cooperation in the line of the Regional Group of Forces.