Most important points of significant interest
Meeting the heads of the military-industrial complex, Alexander Lukashenko has demanded that the defence industry focus on making weapons and equipment for worldwide export
By Vasily Kharitonov
“It’s about the security of our country, our army and its arsenal,” Mr. Lukashenko stated at the opening of the meeting. “The defence sector of the economy has always been our flagship for advanced technologies and innovations. Only the most reliable and the best innovations are in demand by all armies so we shouldn’t lag behind.”
Belarus’ military-industrial sector has a tradition of strength, specialising in electronics and optics, communications systems and effective air defence. Armoured vehicles and aircraft have been upgraded, building on the Soviet legacy.
Where other former Soviet republics have allowed their industry to fall away, Belarus has taken a different path, repairing machinery and keeping it up to date. The whole world sells weapons and Belarus has done its best to retain a slice of the pie, providing employment and continually upgrading its technology, as the President emphasised.
Today, more than 70 percent of Belarusian defence industry goods are exported. Enterprises such as Peleng, Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant and Tetraedr export almost all of their manufactures. Mr. Lukashenko notes, “We’ve managed to overcome the situation whereby Soviet weapons, which were in excessive supply in the Armed Forces, dominated our export structure; now, almost 90 percent of our exported arms and services are Belarusian-made; it’s a positive trend which we aim to maintain.”
The President aims to improve efficiency while developing new fields and modern weapons — for use by our own army and the world market. “The benefits are obvious: modernisation of the military-industrial complex and the introduction of new industries are a platform for implementing advanced technologies. In future, they’ll inspire the innovative development of other sectors of the economy and strengthen our position on the world market. Finally, they’ll strengthen the country’s defence and increase revenue for the state budget.”
The feasibility of projects is obviously important, and projects should only be entered into where sufficient funding exists. The President notes, “Specific products, pricing and delivery to foreign markets and to our army must be calculated, with all those involved taking personal responsibility, from the PM down. There’s no such thing as easy money.”
The President is keen to strengthen national security, in the broadest sense, raising the combat readiness of the Armed Forces as well as improving currency inflow from abroad. Every nation seeks the best equipment for its army, so Belarus would be wise to take advantage of the opportunity.