Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced on Wednesday that Eastern European countries will soon be entrusted with a large amount of Russian-made weapons and hardware.
Authoritarian leaders told reporters at a press conference on September 1 that the batch would include dozens of fighters, helicopters, and defense systems (such as the S-400 air defense system). Bertha News Agency reported..
I signed my order the day before yesterday. Dozens of aircraft, dozens of helicopters, and most important air defense systems will soon be available. I don’t want to say how much it costs and what else it costs.We may get an S-400 [air defense systems].. We need a lot of them, I’ve already talked about it, “Lukashenko said.
“In other words, you have the most advanced hardware. We will upgrade the equipment,” he added. “If you see it while exercising [Belarusian–Russian strategic army exercise Zapad-2021] If you need something special, buy it from the Russian Federation and start the service. “
The announcement highlights Moscow’s growing support for Lukashenko, whose elections for the sixth quarter of August 2020 caused months of protests and allegations of Belarusian opposition and fraudulent votes from the West.
Future strategic training in Belarus, named Zapad-2021 (West-2021), will involve an estimated 200,000 military personnel, tanks, cannons and aircraft, including soldiers from Kazakhstan, a Moscow-led defense block member. The ministry announced in a statement that it would be involved.
Lukashenko has announced plans to acquire Russia and Belarus as they prepare to play a joint war game next week. The training is set to involve an army of about 200,000 people. The scale of the exercise will be larger than the previous exercise called “Zapad-2020 (West-2020)”.
Russia has firmly supported the long-standing leaders of the Belarusian regime. His government faced a series of severe sanctions from the United States and the European Union. Sanctions were imposed in response to brutal crackdowns on post-election protests, including the arrest of more than 35,000 people and the beatings of thousands of demonstrators by police.
The two former Soviet neighbors have collective bargaining agreements that envision close political, economic and military relationships. In the past, Lukashenko often accused Moscow of plotting to force Belarus to abandon his independence, but protest crackdowns made him a Western Paria and relied head-on on the Kremlin’s support. After being forced, he dropped such a rhetoric.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
from NTD News