Belarus deploys new weapons

Russia has delivered the promised state-of-the-art methods, President Lukashenko mentioned

Minsk is now armed with Iskander ballistic missiles and guarded by S-400 air protection methods, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus introduced on Monday, thanking his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for delivering the brand new weapons as Moscow beforehand promised.

“Today, we have deployed the S-400 systems and, most importantly, the Iskander system that you handed over to us, as you promised six months ago,” Lukashenko advised Putin at a joint press convention in Minsk. 

Putin, in addition to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, arrived in Belarus on Monday for a collection of talks with their counterparts concerning financial, army and vitality cooperation. At their press look, the Russian president revealed that the 2 international locations have already established an built-in air protection and warning system, of which S-400 batteries are an important component.

Pilots from Belarus will quickly obtain coaching in utilizing “special weapons and special ammunition,” Putin revealed and Lukashenko confirmed. 

“I must say that we prepared the planes. As it turned out, we had such planes since the Soviet times, we’ve tested them in the Russian Federation. Together with the Russians, we now train crews that can pilot planes that can carry these special payloads,” Lukashenko mentioned.

While neither president used the phrase “nuclear,” Putin had identified that NATO launched the apply many years in the past. This was most definitely a reference to the US coverage of “nuclear sharing,” deploying quite a lot of bombs in a number of NATO international locations who do not need atomic weapons of their very own, however function the so-caleld dual-capable plane. Polish officers voiced a willingness to hitch that program in October, prompting Lukashenko to accuse Warsaw of threatening neighboring Belarus.

The US State Department responded to Putin’s go to to Minsk by accusing Belarus of “ceding its independence” to Russia. Belarus is aiding and abetting Russia within the “brutal war” in Ukraine, State Department spokesman Ned Price advised reporters. 

Washington and its allies have already imposed sanctions on Belarus over the battle in Ukraine. Asked if there have been any particular “red lines” that might make the US take into account Belarus a celebration to the battle, Price mentioned the US will “continue to watch very closely” what Minsk does, and “look for additional means to hold the Lukashenko regime accountable,” with out naming any particulars.

Earlier, Price had identified that the US has spent over $20 billion on support to Ukraine since Joe Biden was sworn in as president in January 2021, and can proceed to funnel cash, arms and ammunition to Kiev.

Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that arms shipments to Ukraine solely lengthen the battle. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned that the West had de facto turned Ukraine into “a colony” and was utilizing Ukrainians “as cannon fodder” and a battering ram towards Russia whereas supplying Kiev with weapons.