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: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.