MINSK, May 5. /TASS/. The Air Force and air defense units of Belarus have received from Russia a fourth battalion of the air defense system S-300 PS on the disinterested basis, the commander of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense, Major-General Oleg Dvigalyov, has said.
"All in all Belarus has received four air defense missile battalions on the disinterested basis from Russia. Three of them had undergone overhaul in Russia, and one, in Belarus," the Belarusian news agency BeltTA quotes Dvigalyov as saying.
Earlier in the day he participated in the handover of one of the S-300 battalions to the 377th air defense regiment, stationed in the Polotsk district of the Vitebsk region (northern Belarus).
"The battalion has undergone the full preparation cycle. In August, we plan to take it to the Ashuluk test site for firing practice. We hope for good results," Dvigalyov said, adding that the upgraded S-300 PS system will enter duty on May 6.
Two of the four S-300 battalions provided by Russia will be stationed in the Polotsk district and the two others in the Grodno and Brest regions.
"Our air defense system is rather developed. It undergoes continued upgrade. We are part and parcel of the integrated regional air defense system of Belarus and Russia," Dvigalyov said.
As the chief of the Russian Aerospace Force’s Staff, first deputy aerospace force commander Lieutenant-General Pavel Kurachenko said, Russia and Belarus had finalized the common air defense system in the East European Region of collective security.
"The practical implementation of the agreement is over. In the future the main efforts will be focused on joint combat alert and joint training," he said.
Dvigalyov was appointed commander of the common regional air defense system.