Brothers in arms: Lukashenka demands weapons from Russia

At the sittings of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS countries the Belarusian leader has raised the issue of the single army of Belarus and Russia again.

“Take share and share alike”

Yury Zhadobin, Belarus’ Defense Minister, was pretty reasonable in desires: “Special attention should be given to the improvement and reinforcement of military systems, including air defense”.

As for the Belarusian President, he put it straight: “Even if you are short of something and something goes wrong, and you know that Russia has problems but we always require that Russia would pay attention to what is going on in Belarus. We ask and demand supplies of up-to date weapons from them – like those in the Russian army. I say “demand” because this gives us the right to act with our Russian brothers in the same spirit as an equal partner”.

Split single army

It is interesting that “the single army” Aliaksandr Lukashenka was talking about is a regional group of Russian and Belarusian forces that was organised more than ten years ago. According to military expert Aliaksandr Alesin, as always, the head of state is a bit exaggerating.

“It is nothing more than a group of ground forces. Considering it as the single army is like calling NATO forces carrying out missions in Afghanistan in the same way. The most interesting thing about this unit – nobody knows who commands it,” the expert says. The army which, according to Lukashenka, “fears nothing” still cannot boast of any unified leadership.

“If any unknown aircraft violates Belarus’ airspace and, for example, the Belarusian side decides to land it down and Russians raise objections it is difficult to predict how the situation will develop,” Alesin says.

NATO decides

It is to be recalled that Russia is about to deploy a military aviation base in Belarus. The Minister of Defense of Russia Sergey Shoygu claimed that in a meeting with Lukashenka in April 2013.

“Lukashenka craves for obtaining arms in ownership, and ideally for free. In fact, everything depends on the NATO’s actions. Russia has not shown any spark of desire to supply Minsk with weapons, but if NATO missile defense system covers Poland where an American air base is to be deployed there is every possibility that Moscow will support its ally,” Alesin says.

But now Lukashenka can do nothing but demand and remind of Russo-Belarusian fraternity.


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