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Belarus interested in deliveries of Russian S-400 air defense systems, says Lukashenko

The president stressed that Belarus intended to spend some funds received from Russia as a loan for the construction of a nuclear power plant for purchasing modern Russian weapons

MINSK, August 9. /TASS/. Belarus is interested in deliveries of the Russian-made S-400 medium-to-long-range air defense missile systems to the republic, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday.

"This issue was raised before the president of Russia so that the S-400s can be delivered to the Republic of Belarus at a reasonable price on a loan because we do not have such money," Lukashenko said at a meeting with journalists and public figures.

"The S-400 evokes our great interest. That is why, we speak about that and I am confident that we will get these systems," the Belarusian president said.

Belarus intends to spend some funds received from Russia as a loan for the construction of a nuclear power plant for purchasing modern Russian weapons, Lukashenko said.

"We have saved substantial funds on the nuclear power plant," he said. "I am ready to spend this part and this involves from $300 million to $500 million, at internal Russian prices, on a considerable amount of military and technical equipment, including S-400s, this is what we are talking about," the Belarusian president said.

Lukashenko said he had given instructions to ensure the security of the Belarusian nuclear power plant from the air and the most advanced air defense force armed with Russian-made Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile systems was deployed in the area of the NPP. State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Alexander Volfovich who was present at the meeting said that the plan of developing the republic’s armed forces stipulated purchasing at least three more Tor-M2 batteries.

"In our time, we chose the Tor-M2. This is a good weapon and we know both how to use it and modernize it. We can both restore and repair it," Lukashenko said.

The armor repair plant and several private companies in Belarus specialize in repairing and upgrading Russian-made S-300 and Buk air defense systems, he added.

Belarus is set to rearm its air defense troops and furnish them with S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems developed in Russia, Commander of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Troops Lieutenant-General Igor Golub said in January.

First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Andrei Boitsov said in late June this year that Russia was ready to consider the deliveries of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and Pantsyr-S1 anti-aircraft missile/gun launchers to Belarus if Minsk filed the relevant request.