MINSK:) - The Russian Armed Forces will be deployed to Belarus in the event of the threat of a "new world war," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday.
"If necessary, there will be more than just a base. All the Russian Armed Forces will be deployed here, if necessary. In case of the danger of unleashing a new world war. That's all," Lukashenko said.
He noted that there are often concerns from the West about the possible deployment of Russian troops to Belarus.
"Why are you so worried that we'll have a Russian base? If we will. It isn't needed here, and the [Russian] president and I made up our minds long ago [...]. Why are you so worried when you have a base sitting on a base and driving this base around, rattling off nuclear weapons? You're setting some conditions for us, you're afraid that there will be a Chinese or Russian base here, or a Ukrainian one. You sort it out first [in your homeland]," Lukashenko said.
At the same time, Lukashenko noted that it makes no sense for Russia to spend money and create military bases in Belarus.
"I would be interested if some serious missile launchers were placed here. However, they cannot be brought directly to the theater of operations, directly into NATO's garden. Because they'll be fired upon from the most conventional weapons. Therefore, Russia will never move them here, let alone nuclear warheads. They will be directly under fire from the territory of Poland and Lithuania," Lukashenko said.
There is no point in transferring Russian military aircraft to Belarus either, he said.
"The flight time is three minutes to Minsk from the territory of Russia. What is the point of spending money? Putin and I discussed... These were his words: Listen, what are you worried about? What is the point in creating an airbase here if a military plane is ten minutes from Moscow?" he said.
Lukashenko also recalled the Zapad (West) 2021 exercise.
"We are demonstrating that we will be together in case of, God forbid, [the need] to protect something. We have joint action plans in this case. Belarus isn't a foreign land for Russia," he said.