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Lukashenko says there is no need to establish Russian military air base in Belarus

February 03, 13:54 UTC+3

According to Belarusian president, it would be appropriate to transfer Russian military aircraft to Belarus instead of building a new air base

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Belarus does not think it is appropriate to establish a Russian military base in Bobruisk, Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, said at a meeting with representatives of the public and reporters.

"Is this base necessary from a military point of view? We do not need it here. This base and the aircraft they (Russia - TASS) want to deploy here, all this is a demonstration," he said.

According to Lukashenko, it would be appropriate to transfer Russian military aircraft to Belarus instead of building a new air base. "We have excellent pilots, we have an excellent school. You know that we can operate military aircraft no worse than Russian pilots. Give us 20 aircraft, after all, we have a joint force," the Belarusian leader noted.

In September 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin tasked the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Foreign Ministry with holding talks with Minsk to sign a draft agreement between the two countries on establishing a Russian air base in Belarus. Russian government officials earlier noted that the agreement would contribute to the joint protection of the Union State’s border in the airspace and the formation of the Russian-Belarusian regional air defense system.

In June 2016, Russian Presidential Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said there are concrete plans to deploy a Russian air base to Belarus.

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