Foreign Ministry of Belarus: Placing a Russian military base on Belarusian territory is meaningless
Currently Belarus does not feel the need to place a Russian military base on its territory, as stated by the Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Makei, Interfax reported.
"As for the placement of the Russian military base on the territory of Belarus, nowadays it's meaningless to place additional bases on our territory. It won't improve security in the region. We have enough different military and air bases, which could be put to use at any moment, if the situation asks for it," Makei said.
On September 2nd, the Russian government approved a draft resolution for creating a Russian airbase in Belarus. This measure, the document states, will "promote the organization of the joint protection of the external border of the Union State". On September 18th, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the conclusion of the agreement with Belarus to establish the base. The location of the future air base was not specified.
On October 5th, a rally against the planned opening of the Russian airbase in Belarus was held in Minsk. Among the organizers of the rally was a number of opposition leaders. "This is a disastrous move that could lead to the loss of the independence of Belarus,” the organizers said in a statement named 'For Belarus without foreign military bases,' adding that “this is a betrayal of our national interests, a betrayal of the people and the country." It was also noted that the placement of foreign military bases in the country contradicts article 18 of the Constitution, according to which Belarus is committed to neutrality.
The next day, President Alexander Lukashenko said that there was no negotiations on placing a Russian airbase in Belarus. "I've been seeing lately our opposition making complaints about the placement of a Russian airbase in Belarus. I know nothing about this. I'm the person who has to make such decisions and I know nothing about this matter,” Lukashenko said. “We do not need a base today. Especially an airbase. We do need some particular weapons." The Belarusian President noted that he repeatedly said this to the Russian leaders.
At the same time, Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is in an alliance with Russia. "In fact, we are not alone against NATO here, we are standing alongside the Russian Federation. We have a particular plan, even in the case of war, on how to act. Naturally, we won't make it public, this plan is absolutely secret, but in this part of a front the main force is the Belarusian army. If the conflict starts, Russia will supply us with human resources, specific armies, aircraft, helicopters, and so on, that have been assigned to us for this mission," the Belarusian President said.