- Russia to Deliver Four Warplanes to Belarus in 2015
- Belarus to Boost Air Defense with New Russian Warplanes
- Putin, Lukashenko Praise Bilateral Ties
- Belarus may buy outdated Su-30 fighters from Russia
MINSK, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plans to base fighter jets at a military airbase in Belarus, with a first wing due to arrive there later this year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
“In 2013 we will establish a military commandant’s office and provide a wing of combat fighters on alert duty,” he said, adding more jets could be based there later.
“We hope that an Air Force regiment will be here by 2015 to protect our borders,” he said.
Russia will also deliver four battalions of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Belarus in 2014, Shoigu said.
The decision to deliver the missiles was made at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Shoigu said.
Belarus borders NATO nations Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO nations now fly combat air patrols from the Baltic states close to Russian airspace, an issue that has previously been viewed with concern in Moscow.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led military alliance of six former Soviet republics, plans to build an integrated air and missile defense system, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff said in December.
The CSTO's current members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan announced it had pulled out of the organization in 2012.
So far Russia has signed agreements on creation of joint regional air defense systems with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.