MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - A unit of Russian fighter jets will be deployed in Belarus before the yearend, Belarusian Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin said Wednesday.
He did not say whether the jets will be located at an airbase Russia is planning to open in northwestern Belarus, near the Polish and Lithuanian borders, but a Russian Air Force general said in late June that Russian Su-27SM3 fighter jets would be stationed at the base, due to open “within a few months’ time.”
Located in Lida, a city of nearly 100,000, the base will form an important element in the “strategic defense of the Union State,” Russian Air Force chief Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in May that these plans are not a response to the deployment of a US missile shield in Europe that Russia has fiercely opposed.
Belarus borders NATO nations Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.