Continuing jointly launched partnership

Belarus and Russia ready to expand co-operation in significant military-industrial sphere
By Vladimir Khromov

The President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, recently met Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government and Chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission under the Government of the Russian Federation, to discuss liaisons in the military-industrial sphere.

Mr. Lukashenko noted that he was delighted to see Mr. Rogozin in Minsk as he views him as being ‘close in ideology and in soul’. The President noted that a number of state issues needed discussion and admitted to ‘some problems in this regard’. “Frankly, we don’t really like the situation evolving around us,” stressed the Head of State. “In this respect, we’ve clearly stated that we should become closer. In any situation, we’ll be together with Russia.” The President wishes speculation to end and recalled Iraq being bombed by the Americans, saying, “After that bombing, everyone understood that the action was wrong and unfair — yet they sided with the allies.”

“Why should we act differently if Russia is our one and only ally? That’s the entire logic of it. Moreover, there are other factors to consider; we’ll act depending on the situation, to honour the interests of our state and the interests of our only strategic ally,” underlined the President.

“We’ll work hard to advance co-operation in the military-technical sphere,” continued the Head of State. “We’re modernising our military-industrial facilities, trying to make new products at our enterprises. However, since there are only a few dozen high-tech enterprises, we understand that modernisation will be more effective if we liaise with the Russian defence industry. The most vital aspect is that the nature of our products makes them primarily in demand in Russia. We understand this perfectly.”

Mr. Rogozin added that Russia is keen to develop military-industrial co-operation with Belarus and to continue projects already begun. A few months ago, the Military-Industrial Commission held a joint meeting to discuss a system of mutual co-operation with Belarusian representatives, in order to create an action plan for the military-industrial sector, including time-scales.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Ukraine is a sensitive issue for him, as he lived in Kiev for some time. Following the instructions of the Russian President, he headed a delegation of Russian industrialists to Ukraine in December. “We toured Eastern Ukraine, visited Kiev and held fruitful talks with Ukrainian industrialists, so it’s extremely hurtful to see all our work with Ukrainian partners regarding defence-industrial collaboration destroyed by Ukraine in an act of spite,” noted Mr. Rogozin. He emphasised, “We enjoy great support from Belarusian industrialists. The goal of this visit is to see what we can achieve in the current climate.”

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