According to President Vladimir Putin, Russia has “no interest” in annexing its neighbor, Belarus. “Russia has no interest in swallowing anyone up, it wouldn’t make sense,” Putin told the reporter at a news conference in Minsk yesterday. Putin said this after meeting with Belarusian Governor Alexander Lukashenko.
According to Putin, after “substantial” talks, the two sides reached an agreement to increase their cooperation “in all areas”, most notably in the defense sector. These are joint measures to ensure the security of both countries, such as the exchange of arms and the joint production of weapons.
On his first visit to Belarus in three years, Putin said Russia would also continue to train Belarusian soldiers on Soviet-designed planes capable of carrying nuclear bombs.
Close links between the “allies”
The Kremlin chief referred to the close relationship between “strategic allies and partners” who are “united by a common history and spiritual values.” “Together we can withstand the sanctions of enemy countries,” Putin said.
Belarus announced in October that it was forming a joint military alliance with Russia. Thousands of Russian soldiers will be stationed in Belarus for this purpose. However, the head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, has repeatedly stated that he does not plan to send soldiers to Ukraine.
Lukashenko, a Kremlin ally, has been in power in Belarus since 1994. Belarus relies heavily on Russian oil and cheap credit.
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