Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Monday his nation has “no curiosity” in absorbing Belarus, Moscow’s principal ally that closely is dependent upon it for reasonable oil and loans.
“Russia has little interest in absorbing anybody, this is able to merely make no sense,” Putin stated, answering a query from a journalist, saying such rumours got here from “ill-wishers”.
The Kremlin has for years sought to deepen integration with Belarus, however its strongman Alexander Lukashenko resisted outright unification with Russia regardless of being a key ally.
Putin hailed a relationship between “closest allies and strategic companions… united by a typical historical past and non secular values.”
“Collectively we’re resisting sanctions from unfriendly international locations,” Putin stated, “and we accomplish that fairly confidently and successfully.”
Russia and Belarus agreed on reinforcing cooperation “in all areas”, the Russian president added.
This contains the army sector, as the 2 international locations agreed on “shared measures for the safety of the 2 international locations”, continued joint coaching and “mutual weapons supply”.
Russia will hold coaching Belarusian crews to fly planes that may carry nuclear heads, Putin stated.
“We now have examined these plane,” stated Lukashenko, who added that “this isn’t a risk to anybody.”
The Belarusian chief additionally praised his nation’s relationship with Russia.
“Russia can not go anyplace with out us, we can not do something with out Russia,” Lukashenko stated.
“Can we defend our independence and sovereignty with out Russia? No!” he added.
Putin had used the Belarusian territory as a launching pad for its Ukraine offensive.
In October, Belarus introduced the formation of a joint regional power with Moscow, with a number of thousand Russian servicemen arriving within the ex-Soviet nation, fuelling issues Minsk might additionally ship troops to Ukraine.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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