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11 October 2015, 13:31

Lukashenko: I have not discussed the deployment of a Russian airbase with Putin

MINSK, 11 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has said he had not discussed the deployment of a Russian airbase in Belarus with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement after casting his vote at polling station No. 1 on 11 October, BelTA has learned.

“I have not discussed this problem with Putin. I swear! This piece of news has been played up by mass media probably from a session of the Russian government for the sake of leaking it to the public for some unknown reason,” said the Belarusian leader.

“If Russia sees what we fail to see (although we are closer to the West than Russia, we see more than Russia does), then Russia will tell us so. We may be wrong about some things,” said the Belarusian head of state.

“If the military air force is a problem, then the question will be asked straight away: please, give us these 24 aircraft. If you don't want to give them away, sell them or lease them,” noted the President.

Alexander Lukashenko doubted that Russia was ready and was going to set up such an airbase in Belarus because it would cost a lot of money.

“I don't understand why you are so agitated,” Alexander Lukashenko addressed a representative of one of the European mass media. “If such an airbase existed in Belarus, what problems would it address? There is no difference in launching a jet fighter from an airfield in Bobruisk or Pskov, Smolensk, or even Moscow. There is absolutely no difference. 500km is no distance at all for a jet interceptor.”

“Reporters just took this piece of news and ran with it, with mass media speculating too much, scaring the nation. There is no need to be scared,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

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