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    UNIFIED AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM TO PROTECT RUSSIA, BELARUS

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    MINSK, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - An agreement on the unified air defense system of Belarus and Russia will be signed soon, Oleg Paferov, the Commander of the Belarussian Air Force and Air Defense Troops, said at a press conference on Monday.

    He specified that the sides have not reached the stage of signing yet, and the necessary documents are being considered in Russia now.

    In the commander's words, the issue of the unified air defense system of Belarus and Russia is in no way connected with NATO's recent expansion. Oleg Paferov said the unified control instead of united control, which is used now, will make it possible to reach a principally new level of interaction and fulfill combat tasks more fruitfully, including ones relating to combat duty to protect the Union State's air space.

    Speaking about the issue of Russia granting Belarus S-300 antiaircraft-missile complexes, Oleg Paferov said the complexes will be delivered from Russia to Belarus before this year's end. It is planned that Russia will deliver four such complexes, he specified.

    These complexes will replace S-125 antiaircraft systems adopted by the Belarussian armed forces.

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