Putin seeks joint air defense with Belarus
Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to gain an opportunity to use air defense systems on Belarus borders with the European Union and Ukraine, that’s according to a corresponding bill he submitted to the State Duma, according to the Russian parliament’s website.
The report says, Putin has requested that the State Duma ratify the protocol “On amendments and additions to the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on joint protection of the external border of the Union State in airspace and the creation of a unified regional air defense system of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus from February 3, 2009."
The initial protocol was signed in Minsk on November 2, 2016.
It includes amendments concerning the organizational and staffing structure of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the procedure for the use of weapons and military equipment by air defense officers on duty in the process of joint performance of combat duty tasks.
Read alsoUkraine's General Staff speaks of threats of Russia's West-2017 drills"The implementation of the Protocol will improve the security of the external border of the Union State in the airspace, enhance the security of the two states, and will not require additional appropriations of the federal budget," the report said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian war journalist Andriy Tsaplienko reported on an unprecedented movement of military equipment in Russia in the direction of Ukraine.
"On these fresh photos there are pieces of military equipment, which for some reason are not moving to Belarus (where Zapad-2017 military exercises will be held), but in the opposite direction: toward Ukraine, Voronezh Region, Krasnodar, and Crimea,” Tsaplienko said.
Read alsoLatvia expects provocations during Zapad-2017 drillsLater, a military expert and journalist Yuriy Butusov said that the movement and amassing of Russian troops at the borders with Ukraine is associated with constant rotation and exercises aimed at testing the scenario of an invasion of Ukraine.
Read alsoRussia’s drills near NATO border raise fears of aggression - NYTAccording to the expert, Russia has drawn conclusions from the events of 2014, so in the case of "appropriate political situation," they are going to act faster.