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25 June 2022, 18:56

Lukashenko suggests tit-for-tat military steps to Putin in response to West actions

ST PETERSBURG, 25 June (BelTA) – It is necessary to take retaliatory steps in the military sphere in response to actions of the West. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg on 25 June, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We are very concerned about training flights of USA and NATO aircraft, which are training to carry nuclear warheads. It is very stress-inducing for us. This is why I ask you to consider a tit-for-tat response to these things. Without overdoing it. They are training to carry nuclear warheads. Please, help us at least adjust the aircraft we have for carrying nuclear payloads. I am not saying that we or you will transport nuclear ammunition over there tomorrow. But we cannot joke about it. We remember 1941 when they were lulling us into a false sense of security. And then we turned out to be unprepared for it. This is why it is a very serious situation for us. It is not the first time I've raised this issue with you. I know you've considered it in the Defense Ministry. I would like to hear how events are going to unfold here.”

The Belarus president went on saying: “I am not trying to hide things, we have to be ready for everything even for the employment of the most serious weapons in order to protect our Fatherland from Brest to Vladivostok. It is our direct duty.”

As for training flights of aviation of the USA and partners in NATO, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked: “If they are training, they must be thinking about something. Otherwise, why would they train?”

“We should seriously discuss the set of matters concerning defense and security so that our people – Russians and Belarusians – would understand that they are under serious protection,” the Belarusian leader concluded.

In turn, speaking about security matters, Vladimir Putin pointed out that Americans keep 200 units of tactical nuclear ammunition in Europe. Those are primarily nuclear bombs. The nuclear ammunition is stored in six European countries, which are NATO members. “As many as 257 aircraft have been prepared for employing the nuclear ammunition. Not only American aircraft but also aircraft of the countries I've mentioned,” Vladimir Putin explained.

“Is there no base like that in Russia?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.

“There are none in Russia,” Vladimir Putin responded.

Vladimir Putin also responded to Aleksandr Lukashenko's proposal for a military tit for tat in response to USA actions: “We could. But you and I probably don't have to respond, there is no need for that. But I fully agree with you that we simply have to take care of our security, the defense of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, and probably defense of other Collective Security Treaty Organization states.”

The Russian president continued: “This is why I suggest the following. The Belarusian army has quite a large number of Su-25 aircraft. They could be upgraded but, truth be told, the modernization has to happen at Russian aircraft factories (you and I will agree how it will be done) and the pilots have to undergo the relevant training. That's firstly.”

“And secondly. As you and I have agreed, you've raised the issue, our decision has been made: we will hand over a number of tactical missile systems Iskander-M to Belarus within the next few months. They can fire ballistic and cruise missiles with conventional and nuclear warheads,” Vladimir Putin added. He suggested instructing the defense ministers and the chiefs of the general staffs of Belarus and Russia to work out all the relevant details.

“Yes. I absolutely agree,” Aleksandr Lukashenko responded.

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