MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – There is no much point in the deployment of foreign military bases, including Russian ones, on the territory of Belarus, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with RIA Novosti on the sidelines of the session of the UN General Assembly in New York, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The minister noted that the Belarusian president, as a responsible politician who understands that the fate of the state depends on his decisions, pays great attention to strengthening the country's defense capability and sets specific tasks for the Defense Ministry, the State Secretariat of the Security Council to increase the combat readiness of the Armed Forces, to ensure the proper level of defense capability. “This is the task number one in the current conditions. Because we see how unpredictable the behavior of our partners is today," the minister said.
When asked whether the deployment of Russian military bases in Belarus is on the agenda, taking into account the NATO military build-up on the western borders, Vladimir Makei said: “These conversations have been swirling for some time. No one knows what can happen, and nothing can be ruled out in the future, given the unpredictability of the situation, the unpredictability of the behavior of our partners. But at the moment, given the high level of military technology, I think that it makes little sense to deploy additional foreign, in this case Russian military bases on the territory of Belarus."
"It is enough to deploy the appropriate hardware in Smolensk Oblast or somewhere else, and this will, perhaps, look even more effective than the deployment of specific Russian bases in Belarus," Vladimir Makei believes.
He said that Belarus and Russia have a joint grouping of troops, plans for joint exercises and conduct joint trainings. “Russian President Vladimir Putin stated unambiguously during one of the events or some interview that if someone tries to make any attempts against Belarus, we will consider it as an attack on the Union State, which means an attack on the Russian Federation,” the minister said.
He also answered the question about the relevance of deploying Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus. “Our presidents also spoke on this issue some time ago, saying that certain types of aircraft will be upgraded and equipped with the appropriate means of delivery of nuclear weapons. Other options are possible as well. As I understand it, everything will depend on the behavior of our partners and the immediate threats for Belarus and Russia. If such steps are taken by our Western partners, then of course, together with Russia, we will develop adequate response measures,” said Vladimir Makei.
“Including the deployment of some kind of nuclear weapons?” was the journalist's question.
“I cannot say anything right now. I cannot take that responsibility. I know that these issues have been discussed by our heads of state and our defense ministries. I think that if the situation requires it, our countries will be ready to take the most decisive steps to ensure reliable security for our countries, for our peoples,” the minister replied.