MINSK, 6 November (BelTA) – There is no need to set up military bases of other states, including those of Russia, in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with a group of U.S. analysts on 6 November, BelTA has learned.
Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus is in a military alliance with Russia, whose relations with the West are not at their best. “Nevertheless, no bases of other states have been set up in Belarus yet,” the president said.
In his words, the Russian military presence in Belarus has been a hot topic lately. "This is a made-up problem. We are in a military-political alliance with Russia. There is absolutely no difference if there is a military base here or not. We are not deploying this base here not because we want to show you or someone else that we are sovereign and independent. We are not deploying it because there is no need to. According to our joint military defense plan with the Russian Federation, we will fulfill the functions vested in us by ourselves,” the president said.
“Moreover, our army is capable of countering any aggression and responding to any conflict in Belarus. We are capable of fulfilling the functions vested in us under the agreement with Russia. If we could not do this, believe me, we would have addressed Russia for help. There is no such need today,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that the country's armed forces, which have already been reformed four times, are able to ensure security of the country and fulfill their functions better than any other state, including Russia. “I say it openly. This is why we do not need any bases. If we need them, we will honestly tell about it,” the president noted.
He stressed, however, that if NATO continues to “intimidate” by deploying bases in Poland, or in any other way, Belarus will need more sophisticated weapons, first of all, missiles. “As you can see, we have lately developed our own rocket industry and produced high-precision missiles,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“Therefore, I do not see any need in involving another state, including Russia, to help us perform our functions. This is why we categorically against the deployment of a base, especially an air force base. The estimated time of arrival of any aircraft from Russia, if needed, is 3 to 5 minutes. Why do we need a base here? Why do we need to become a target for a potential aggressor by deploying an air base,” the head of state noted.
He added that any talks of a Russian military base are nothing more but just empty talks. “Should the need arise we will announce this openly. But we do not want to initiate any steps so that you would think that Belarusians are some deranged people: say one thing, do another and prepare for war. We do not want this,” he added.
“However, should the need arise, we will defend ourselves differently. You know that we lost every third citizen in the last war. We fought shoulder to shoulder with you against the Nazis,” the Belarusian leader added.More about President