Despite the absence of the official information about the achieved agreements in the sphere of the military and technological cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation at the closed session of the presidents A.Lukashenko and V.Putin in the town of Zaslavl near Minsk, in the light of the recent events connected with the construction of the American anti-missile defence system in Europe (EuroAMD), it is being predicted with a high level of probability that tactical missile “Iskander” systems will appear in Belarus.
A string of facts testifies to this conclusion.
Firstly, on the eve of Russia’s President’s arrival the Belarusian and Russian mass media had announced the probable topics for negotiations of the leaders of the two countries, including the issues of development of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of defence, it being known that the military and technological subject matter was at top of the agenda.
Of course, it were the results (or their absence, taking into consideration the interests of the Russian side) of the international conference on anti-missile defence issues in Moscow 3-4 May and the NATO summit in Chicago 19-20 May. The USA and its allies have remained of the same opinion in terms of further construction of the anti-missile defence system in Europe (the end of its first stage has been announced), despite the statements of the Russian Federation on the threat of Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles interception by prospective antimissiles SM-3 that are planned to be deployed in Romania and Poland since 2015.
Secondly, in one of his first decrees “On the measures of the implementation of the Russian Federation foreign-policy course” after the assumption of Russia’s President’s office V.Putin has obliged “to continue to actively promote the cooperation with the Republic of Belarus within the Allied State framework”.
Thereby, including the emergence of the new challenges and threats in the western direction, the operating effectiveness enhancement of the joint regional force (JRF) through the re-equipment with modern armaments of both Russian and Belarusian formations and military units will become the major aspect of the development of the military and technological cooperation between Belarus and Russia. It is possible that air defence systems S-400, fighters MiG-35, Su-30, trainer/light attack aircraft Iak-130 and tactical missile systems “Iskander-E” may be handed over to Belarus at a reduced price. By the way, a whole Su-30 squadron (18 aircraft) is currently situated at the aircraft repair factory in the city of Baranovichy. The Belarusian side is also showing interest in the purchase of the fighters returned by India.
True, the export version of the “Iskander” system has a 1.8 times shorter range compared to the original “Iskander-M”(280 vs 500 km) that is produced by Russia for its own purposes, but the Belarusian Ministry of Defence is sure that in case of escalation of the situation (at a threatened period) one of the Russian brigades armed with the long-range “Iskander-M”, the formation of which in the Russian Federation is being at the final stage, can be deployed at the territory of Belarus....