Russia moves to establish air base in Belarus

Russia moves to establish air base in Belarus
Gnarly Russian brass visit troops launching military exercise near St. Petersburg, Mar 2015. (Image: AP/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

[Ed. – This would be RE-establishing an air base in Belarus.  Russia had a handful of them there during the Cold War, when Belarus was part of the USSR.]

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signaled his intention to establish a Russian military air base in neighboring Belarus – a move sure to unnerve Poland and the Baltic nations.

Belarus has made clear it would not welcome a Russian base, but the former Soviet republic remains dependent on Moscow for credit and energy.

Putin ordered the Russian Defense Ministry, with the participation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, to hold talks with their Belarusian counterparts and sign the agreement that is reached.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has not commented on Putin’s initiative. The two presidents met Friday in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

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