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Russia to train Belarusian pilots of planes refurbished for nuclear payload — Putin

Putin underscored that "this form of cooperation is not our invention"

MINSK, December 19. /TASS/. Russia will continue to train crews for Belarusian Air Force planes, refurbished for potential use of ammunition with nuclear payload, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the press conference after the meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko Monday.

"I consider it possible to continue the implementation of the Belarusian President’s proposal on the training of Belarusian combat planes that have already been refurbished for potential use of air-based ammunition with a special payload," the Russian leader said.

Putin underscored that "this form of cooperation is not our invention."

"The US, for example, has been carrying out similar measures with their NATO allies for decades," the Russian President said.

According to the Russian leader, "such coordinated measures are exceptionally important due to the tense situation on the external border of the Union State."

In June, Lukashenko offered Putin to take symmetrical military measures in response to Western actions, asking Russia to help upgrade Belarusian military planes to make them capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In August, Lukashenko told reporters that "everything is ready.".