Support The Moscow Times!

Russia to Open Military Base in Belarus

Russia will open its first military airbase in Belarus before the end of this year, air force commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Bondarev said Tuesday.

The base will be near the city of Lida close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania, both of which are NATO members, Bondarev said in a report carried by Interfax.

"The establishment of is the result of an inter-governmental agreement to increase the military strength of the Union," said Bondarev, referring to a Russia-Belarus Union pact signed in 1997 by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, which was seen by many as a response to NATO expansion.

When asked if the base would be operated solely by Russia or with the participation of Belarus, Bondarev answered: "At first it will be Russian, but after that we'll see."

Lida was chosen for the base, which will host Su-27 fighter jets, because of it already has appropriate facilities, Bondarev said.

The base will be the first Russian military location in Europe since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. Russia currently has military bases in Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more