Deploying military base in Belarus taken off table in 2015 – Russian envoy

In case of NATO stepping up activity near the borders of Belarus, Russia is ready to supply its neighbour with missile equipment, Russian Ambassador Mikhail Babich said on Friday.

According to him, it is their allied obligations that will make the Kremlin to resort to such a measure.

However, Moscow does not insist on establishing a military base in the territory of Belarus, Babich said.

Since 2015, no one has put forward any proposals to deploy a military base, he stressed.

The diplomat also touched upon the issues of energy supply, as well as the problem of Minsk’s reimbursement of tax maneuver costs.

In June 2018, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey said that Belarus was not going to place a Russian military base on its territory. However, the decision might be reviewed if Poland hosted a permanent U.S. military presence, he warned. According to top official, a U.S. base in Poland would increase regional ‘mistrust’.

As reported earlier, Poland has been lobbying for a permanent US base amid concerns over Russian aggression. In September, Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump met in the White House. One of the key issues discussed was the location of a US military base in Poland.

Three years ago Alyaksandr Lukashenka withdrew from the almost-ready agreement on the establishment of a Russian air base near Baranavichy. In May 2016, in the wake of lengthy talks and various rumours, Makey declared that the deployment of a Russian airbase was not in question ‘so far’. According to Russian experts, Moscow did not need it at that moment.

“If such need arises, one can return to this issue in any case, but at this stage it seems to us that there is no point in discussing the deployment of a Russian military base on the territory of Belarus. At the moment, the question is closed. But this does not mean that it will be impossible to return to it if the relevant circumstances change and we have to appropriately respond,” Makey said.