Russia and Belarus in defence pact | News | Al Jazeera

Russia and Belarus in defence pact

Presidents of the two former Soviet nations agree to boost military co-operation.

    Moscow has been a key sponsor of Belarus in the past, providing cheap energy and loans [AFP]

    Lukashenko said the creation of a joint air-defence field should be part of a package toward "deepening military-technical cooperation".

    Both nations have opposed Nato's expansion into former Soviet regions, and plans by the United States to create missile defence sites in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Key sponsor

    General Alexander Zelin, the Russian airforce chief, was quoted by local news agencies as saying that the deal would help Russia and Belarusia to strengthen the monitoring of their airspace.

    He said the system would include five air force units and 10 air defence missile units.

    Moscow has been a key sponsor of Belarus in the past, supplying the nation with cheap energy and loans.

    Belarus, which has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, secured a $2bn loan from Russia last year, and has requested another $3bn.

    But Lukashenko has also made efforts to improve relations with the West, and was approved for a $2.46bn loan from the International Monetary Fund in January.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.