BREAKING NEWS

Belarus says joint air force drills with Russia are defensive only

Belarus' Security Council said on Sunday that joint air force drills with Russia, due to start next week, were purely defensive in nature and would focus on reconnaissance missions and how to thwart a potential attack, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Minsk also said it was "ready" for any "provocative actions" by Ukraine, as a flurry of military activity in the country has triggered fresh fears in Kyiv and the West that Russia could be preparing to use its ally - which acted as a springboard for Russia's invasion last February - to mount a new ground offensive on Ukraine.

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