MOSCOW, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian airbase in Belarus will be deployed in Lida, near the border with Poland and Lithuania, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chife Viktor Bondarev said.
It will function this year, Lieutenant-General Bondarev said.
“The airbase in Belarus was set up in compliance with the inter-governmental agreement on the strengthening of military components of the Union State. As a member of the Union State Russia must form and have its airbase there,” Bondarev told journalists on Wednesday.
Answering the question if the airbase is purely Russia’s or this is the joint Russian-Belarusian airbase, the Russian General said: “At first it will be Russia’s and then we’ll see.”
“The airbase will be deployed in Lida, in the north-west of Belarus. Belarus will develop the base and we’ll help it. The airbase will be an important element of the first strategic defence echelon of the Union State by covering Belarus’ airspace,” he said.
The Russian commander-in-chief said new facilities were not needed to be built in order to make the airbase to function. “Yes, our military command will work there. But we’re not needed to build anything,” he said. “The base will start functioning in several months - this year. The Su-27CM3 modified fighters will be deployed there,” the Russian commander-in-chief said.
Commenting on a possibility to reinforce the airbase by other Russian combat planes, he said: “Till now we’ll deploy the Su-27SM3 fighters. Then we’ll see and take a final decision.”