Belarus can turn into joint military base with Russia in case of aggression – Lukashenko (TASS)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that the republic may turn into a joint military base with Russia, if necessary, to withstand the Western aggression, the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying in an interview with CNN.

“If we need to, Belarus will turn into one military base for Russia and Belarus in order to withstand your aggression, if you decide, or if any one country decides to attack. And you should be clear on this, I have never made any secret of it,” the Belarusian president said. In response to a question as to whether there are currently any military objects on Belarusian territory, he said that “there are no bases of any country, including Russia, except for two, one can say, with a civilian designation”. “This is a base since the Soviet times for an early detection of a nuclear missile launch from your territory. And the second base is [for] communications using which the Russian armed forces communicate with its fleet in the Atlantic. That’s all the bases. There are probably only 30-40 people serving, our people. There are two-three Russian officers, the rest are our servicemen. There are no any other bases here,” the Belarusian president explained.

The construction of a radio-engineering center in Baranovichi in Belarus’ Brest Region started in 1984 but then was suspended. It resumed in 1997 and the center began operations in 2003. In particular, it detects ballistic missiles, space objects and controls the areas of NATO submarine patrol in the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea.

A Russian Navy communication hub in Vileyka has been operating in the Minsk Region since January 1964 providing communications between Russia’s Naval General Staff and nuclear submarines on duty in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The hub also performs reconnaissance surveys and provides radio-engineering protection.