BARANOVICHI DISTRICT, 13 September (BelTA) – Belarus intends to buy over $1 billion worth of Russian weapons. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he visited the training area Obuz-Lesnovsky near Baranovichi to observe the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2021 on 12 September, BelTA has learned.
The president noted that a lot of attention was paid to defense and security during negotiations in the Kremlin. Prospects of Belarus buying S-400 air defense missile systems were discussed as well.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “There are two stages in this matter. We are in negotiations and intend to acquire S-400 systems. Vladimir Putin and I paid a lot of attention to matters of defense and security. All in all these matters were intertwined with all the other matters. Our dialogue about defense and security may have taken 3-3.5 hours out of the eight-hour-long talks. Vladimir Putin told me about the more up-to-date air defense systems S-500, which can shoot down ballistic missiles. A very effective system. Among other things I reminded him once again about S-400 systems. I told him where we intend to set them up. Thank god, our western perimeter is fully covered by S-300 systems. But as you know we now have to take care of the southern perimeter. We've discussed this matter with Belarusian generals and with Russians. We are starting to feel the heat from the south. And worse things may happen… We need to prepare. The Belarusian-Ukrainian border is 1,200km long. This is why we have to cover this perimeter, too. And we said that S-400 systems would come in handy. Vladimir Putin instructed the defense minister to get in touch with ours in order to work on selling these systems to us.”
On the whole, Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the Russian leadership and the military, Russia's defense industry for authorizing the shipment of a long list of weapon systems, which will delivered to Belarus by 2025.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “About ten aircraft. We've already received some. And dozens of helicopters and [air defense missile systems] Tor-M2. A lot of weapons. It means that we and the Russian Federation are very serious about this western direction where we are in direct contact with NATO troops.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying: “You can see how they behave. This is why we cannot drop our guard considering the experience of 1941 when we were trying to calm things down all the time only to receive a stunning blow and lose Belarus virtually within 2-3 months. History teaches a lot. We want to be ready in advance and the current exercise is what it is all about. We don't aim our missiles at neighboring countries. Our aircraft do not choose targets in their territories to strike at and things like that. We are getting ready to defend our land. The Belarusian-Russian union does not need excessive territory. May god give us strength to handle what we have.”
BelTA reported earlier that Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned plans to acquire weapons and hardware of Russian make while talking to reporters on 1 September. Aleksandr Lukashenko said back then: “I signed the order the day before yesterday. We will get tens of aircraft, tens of helicopters, and most importantly air defense systems soon. I don't want to say how much money and what else it cost us. We may even get S-400 [air defense systems]. We need them a lot, I've already talked about it.”