Russian defense minister calls for strengthened Russia-Belarus joint defense

The Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu on Thursday called to strengthen the joint defense capabilities of Russia and Belarus, including a unified regional air defense system, reports citing TASS.

“Circumstances dictate the need to take urgent joint measures to strengthen the defense capability of the Union State, increase the combat readiness of the regional grouping of troops and the unified regional air defense system,” he said at a meeting with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin in Moscow.

Shoigu also called Belarus to be Russia’s closest friend. 

Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the only leader in Europe to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Belarusian border with Ukraine was used as part of the invasion by Russian troops.

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