The Belarusian Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that the joint deployment of forces with Russia is a defensive measure.
“The tasks of the Regional Grouping of Forces are purely defensive. And all the activities currently being carried out are aimed at an adequate response to actions near our borders,” Minister of Defense Lt. Gen. Viktor Khrenin said in a statement.
The moves were to ensure "security" along the border between Belarus and Ukraine, Khrenin added. “Again, based on threats, regrouping can be carried out to cover certain areas.”
Some background: On Monday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus and Russia will "deploy a joint regional group of troops” that deepens the military cooperation between the two countries. He had also claimed that Ukraine is planning to attack Belarusian territory, but the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said, "this information is not true."
Hours later, Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian Duma's Defense Committee, said "there is no need" for Belarusian troops to participate in Moscow's "special military operation" — the term used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to refer to the country's invasion of Ukraine.