Belarus does not rule out a Russian military base

Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei. Photo: Reuters

Minsk does not plan to allow Russia to deploy its troops on the Belarusian territory. However, Belarus may revise its stance if the United States deploy a permanent contingent in Poland, Radio Svaboda quotes the Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei as saying during his recent visit to Brussels.

The Belarus foreign policy chief told reporters that our country seeks to reduce tension in the region and maintain good relations both with the West and Russia.

When asked what impact Poland's proposal to host a US base may have on Belarus' reluctance to increase Russian military presence, Makei said: "I think there will be a reaction to this intention to deploy a new military base."

He stressed that Minsk has no plans to accommodate new foreign military bases. "However, looking into the future, one has to take into account the steps that our neighbors will be making," Makei added.

Currently, there are two Russian military assets in Belarus: an early warning radar near Hancavicy and a VLF transmitter run by the 43rd Communications Center of the Russian Navy. Russia has been leasing these two sites along with the land plots, and the current agreement expires in 2020.