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Lukashenka: Russian supplied missile system enters combat duty state

On December 20, local time, President Lukashenka of Belarus and visiting Russian President Putin jointly attended the press conference after holding talks in Minsk. According to several foreign media reports such as Interfax News Agency and the Russian News Agency, Lukashenka said at the press conference that the S-400 air defense missile system and the Iskandar missile system provided by Russia to Belarus had entered the combat duty state.

According to the Interfax News Agency, at the press conference on the same day, Lukashenko said to Putin, “I want to thank you. We understand each other, support each other and made the necessary decisions. Both I and the (Belarusian) soldiers especially thank you for fulfilling your commitments. You provided the S-400 system and the ‘Iskandar’ system, which you promised six months ago, and we have turned these systems into combat duty.”.

Foreign media previously reported that Putin, when meeting with visiting Lukashenko in St. Petersburg on June 25 this year, said that Russia would provide “Iskandar-M” missile system to Belarus in the next few months. Lukashenko said that Belarus should be prepared for everything and was worried about the confrontation policy pursued by the governments of Lithuania and Poland. In addition, according to the Russian news agency, Lukashenko also said on March 1 this year that he had requested Putin to deploy additional S-400 missile systems west of Minsk. He also said that Belarus needed the S-400 missile system to defend its territory.

On December 19 local time, Putin arrived in Minsk for a one-day visit and held talks with White President Lukashenka. This is Putin’s first visit to Belarus since June 2019.

Russian media said that Putin and Lukashenko attended a large-scale joint meeting attended by members of the two governments and leaders of ministries and commissions on the same day. Lukashenko said at the meeting that the West was worried about his frequent meetings with Putin. Russia and Belarus are open to dialogue with countries including Europe and hope that rational voices will dominate the EU.

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