Missile system "Iskander-M" Russia will supply Belarus with missile systems «Iskander-M»
Russia has decided to transfer the Iskander-M missile systems to allied Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting in St. Petersburg on Saturday with Belarusian authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
According to Putin, the systems will be handed over to Minsk in the coming months. At the same time, he noted that “Iskander-M” can use both ballistic and cruise missiles, “both in conventional and nuclear versions.” The officially named missile range of these systems is up to 500 kilometers.
Putin and Lukashenko meet in St. Petersburg on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries.
Their talks are taking place against the backdrop of Ukraine's claims that its territory was for the first time subjected to a massive rocket bombardment from Belarusian airspace. The village of Desna in the Chernihiv region was hit. “Today's strike is directly related to the Kremlin's efforts to drag Belarus into the war in Ukraine as one of the belligerents,” Ukrainian intelligence said.
At the talks with Lukashenka on June 25, the Russian president also proposed to retrofit the Su-25 attack aircraft in service with Belarus at Russian factories. Lukashenko turned to Putin with a request to help respond adequately to the training flights of NATO aircraft that can carry nuclear weapons. In this regard, Lukashenka asked to consider the possibility of a mirror response, or at least help to “adjust” Belarusian aircraft are used to respond to this threat.
Vladimir Putin noted that the Belarusian army is armed with a fairly large group of Su-25 aircraft. “They could be retrofitted accordingly,” TASS quoted Putin.
Alexander Lukashenko, in a conversation with Putin, suggested discussing the readiness to use the “most serious weapon” to protect Belarus and Russia from external danger. As Lukashenka said, he is “very annoying” aggressive, confrontational policy of Poland and Lithuania. “I don't know why they need this confrontation, but it's clear that they are behind their backs, pushing,” Lukashenko says.
Belarus is not a direct participant in the war in Ukraine. Western countries, including the US, UK and EU states, strongly condemned the attack and imposed several packages of tough sanctions against Moscow. Lukashenko, who has not been recognized as a legitimate head of state by Western allies since the August 2020 elections, has been providing so-called logistical support to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine began in late February. Part of the Russian troops entered Ukraine through a section of the border with Belarus.
Western countries, in connection with the war in Ukraine, subjected Lukashenka's entourage to financial sanctions for his help to Moscow.