Lukashenka’s support not in word: Russian fighter jets to be transferred to Belarusian airfields

The Russian Federation’s fighter jets will be transferred to airfields in Belarus under an agreement with Russian authorities, Aleh Dvihaliou, commander-in-chief of Belarus’ Air and Air Defense Force, told reporters in Minsk yesterday.

‘Today I was ordered to build up the strength of the active-duty units of the Common Regional Air Defense System of Belarus and Russia,’ General Major Dvihaliou said, noting that the measures to be taken for this purpose would include the relocation of Russian fighter jets to airfields in Belarus.

Mr Dvihaliou, who was appointed commander of the Common Regional Air Defense System by a joint decision of the presidents of Belarus and activityRussia in August 2013, did no specify how many Russian military aircraft would be sent to Belarus, but Aliaksandr Lukashenka said earlier in the day that Belarus would ask Russia to deploy 12 to 15 warplanes in its territory in response to increased NATO near Belarus.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian leader denied on Wednesday that he was under pressure from Moscow to voice support for its military intervention in Ukraine. ‘No one is putting pressure on me, no Kremlins or others have ever exercised pressure on me,’ he said.

At the same time, two weeks ago Minsk expressed its readiness to cooperate with Ukraine’s new government. Although the Belarusian authorities seemed to be eager of extracting everything from the conflict by maneuvering between the sides, now it is highly likely that Mr Lukashenka will take the part of Russia., via BelaPAN

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