Russian President Vladimir Putin did not come empty-handed to Minsk, where he met his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, on December 19. And if the relationship between the two countries may have experienced some difficulties not so long ago, this is absolutely no longer the case… Better still: the policy of Belarus is more than ever aligned with that of Russia, especially in the military field.
A few months ago, Mr. Lukashenko announced his intention to obtain from Russia S-400 “Triumph” air defense batteries and Iskander-M nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. [soit la même version en dotation au sein des forces russes]. His wishes were granted. »
“Thank you Vladimir Vladimirovich [Poutine] […] for keeping your promise. Today we have an S-400 system that you handed over to Belarus. And above all the Iskander missile, which you also handed over to us after having promised it six months ago, “said the Belarusian president, alongside the head of the Kremlin.
While Ukrainian officials fear a new Russian offensive towards kyiv from Belarus, Mr Putin said that “joint military plans are being drawn up within the framework of the Union of Russia and Belarus” and that the regional military group, whose creation was announced last October, is now “operational”. And to add: “A common air defense system has been created and is functioning”.
In addition, Minsk and Moscow intend to “continue to jointly take all necessary measures to ensure adequate security” and “to give priority attention to training troops, improving their combat readiness” .
In addition, in June, Mr. Putin had affirmed that Russian industry was going to modernize the Su-25 “Frogfoot” attack planes of the Belarusian air force… And that the pilots of the latter should undergo “appropriate training” in Russia. And this while, previously, Mr. Lukashenko had asked him for devices “capable of carrying nuclear payloads”.
However, the Su-25 “Frogfoot” was designed for ground support missions… not to carry nuclear weapons. On the other hand, Belarus has Su-30SM “Flanker” multi-role fighters which could have such a capacity…
Still, two months later, Minsk claimed that the first modified aircraft promised by Moscow had been delivered to it. “Putin and I once said in St. Petersburg that we will modernize, among other things, the Belarusian Sukhoi planes so that they can carry nuclear weapons. Do you think we are talking nonsense? Everything is ready! “, Indeed said Mr. Lukashenko, last August, without specifying whether he was talking about the Su-25 or the Su-30.
In Minsk, the Russian president again returned to this subject, referring to an “agreement to continue training crews on Belarusian air force planes modified to carry ammunition equipped with special warheads”. Are we to understand that these devices will be able to carry nuclear weapons?
As a reminder, in February, Belarus has modified its Constitution in order to authorize the deployment of nuclear weapons on its soil.
Be that as it may, Alexander Lukashenko indirectly confirmed that the Su-25s will indeed be the planes that should have such a capacity.
“You have just broached a very sensitive subject concerning the training of our crews [pour les avions] capable of carrying special weapons and special ammunition,” the strongman from Minsk told Mr. Putin. “It turns out that we had such planes since Soviet times. We tested them in Russia. We are now working with the Russians to train the crews capable of piloting them,” he added.
The Su-30SM “Flanker” were delivered only very recently to the Belarusian air force… Which is obviously not the case of the Su-25 “Frogfoot”, of which it has kept 70 copies since the implosion of Soviet Union.
Belarusian airmen trained in Russia to fly planes equipped with “special” ammunition – Zone Militaire