Russia is to sell Belarus "about 20" fighter jets, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters on Friday.
"I need about 20 aircraft, and we are buying Russian aircraft [Sukhoi] Su-27, [Mikoyan] MiG-29 or more modern ones, in order to ensure the inviolability of the borders of our country. As commander-in-chief, I'm short of about 20 modern aircraft today," Lukashenko told.
He was commenting on an announcement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that a Russian air base would be set up in Belarus in 2015.
"As for the air base, maybe it sounded as a base. No. It's all about supplies for our armed forces. We'll have talks on the form such supplies would take. Whether it'll be a base or we will supply some Russian fighters," Lukashenko said. "That matter is under discussion.
Lukashenko also said he and Shoigu had discussed the propped modernization of Russian aircraft at a plant in Baranovichi. "I said, yes, we will modernize your aircraft if you wish us to," Lukashenko said.
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