ST. PETERSBURG, December 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans on Wednesday to hold Russia-Belarus military drills early next year.
"As you presumed, we will hold them [the drills] and the militaries will agree their date, in March or February, when they decide," the Russian leader said, commenting on a remark by his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko at the beginning of their talks.
Lukashenko asked Putin not to halt cooperation in the military sector and the defense industry. "I have just requested you not to halt our joint drills so that we can continue setting up centers for training our guys, first of all, to learn to operate advanced weapon systems that we are purchasing from Russia," the Belarusian leader said.
As Lukashenko pointed out, he knew that his proposal to hold joint drills on the territory of Belarus was being considered.
"I would want these decisions to be made by you. This will benefit the Belarus-Russia relations," the Belarusian president said.