CM – Belarusian leader praises Russia-led exercises and considers $ 1 billion arms deal




MOSCOW: Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said Sunday Minsk plans to buy $ 1 billion worth of Russian weapons as it oversaw massive Moscow-led military exercises that rocked some EU countries. </ In green military uniform on a test site near the town of Baranowitschi in western Belarus, the strong man praised Russian and Belarusian troops for their "high willingness" to defend their borders together and to counteract what he called "hybrid aggression" from the west.

Russia and Belarus started military exercises on Friday with around 200,000 men, one of Moscow’s largest exercises in recent years.

President Vladimir Putin is due to inspect the exercises in Russia on the Monday before the three-day parliamentary elections later this week, the Kremlin announced.

« We cannot relax in view of the experience of 1941, » said Lukashenko, referring to the one-man rsch Nazi Germany into the Soviet Union.

Lukashenko, who was ostracized by the West after a controversial election last year for taking action against opposition protests, increasingly had to rely on Moscow. The two heads of state and government have held talks on closer integration of their two countries.

Lukashenko held the final round of talks with Putin in Moscow earlier this week and said on Sunday that he wanted to buy Russia’s S-400 air defense systems for them on the border of his country to the west-backed Ukraine – Our border with Ukraine is 1,200 kilometers, « Lukashenko told reporters during the exercises and revealed details of his eight-hour talks with Putin.

 » And we discussed that we should S-400, « he said, adding that the leaders had spent more than three hours on defense and security matters.

Lukashenko also thanked Putin for agreeing to join Belarus until 2025 Delivering weapons worth more than a billion US dollars.

« I will not disclose the amount, although this is not a big secret either – that is it d more than a billion dollars, « Lukashenko told local reporters.

The delivery included about ten aircraft, several dozen helicopters and a gate-surface-to-air missile system, said the Belarusian President.

 » Your actions during of the exercises vividly confirmed the high readiness of the armies of our countries and the Belarusian people to jointly secure their sovereignty and independence, « he said.

The massive exercises shook a number of EU countries, with Poland along its eastern border to the for the first time since the fall of communism.

The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned of possible « provocations » and said the exercises were a reason for the introduction of the state of emergency in Warsaw.

On the eve of Exercise, Putin said the exercises were « not directed against anyone, » and Lukashenko struck the same note on Sunday.

« We are not deploying our missiles Neighboring countries. We are preparing to defend our country, « he said in a statement released by his office.

Putin is expected to sign a number of integration agreements in Belarusian capital Minsk on November 4th, and Lukashenko said the two would also hold talks next month.

The Kremlin said troops from India, Mongolia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan would also take part in the joint exercises.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that the Troops from the two countries would return to their bases by mid-October.

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