14 Nov 2019 15:30

Lukashenko criticizes Russia for unwillingness to 'help' Belarus in supplying it with Su-30SM fighter aircraft

MINSK. Nov 14 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said his country performs part of the duty to defend Russia from the west and criticized Moscow for its unwillingness to co-finance the delivery of Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft to Belarus.

"Belarus recently bought Su-30SM aircraft from Russia with its own money. But we also perform the function of defending the Russian Federation, the Russian people, from that direction. So why not help us? Why not supply us with modern weapons?" the Belarusian state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying at a meeting with Belarusian Security Council State Secretary Stanislav Zas and Border Committee Chairman Anatoly Lappo.

"We know how to use them [the planes and other weapons] at least as well as the Russians, but we play colossal money for this. I am not saying that we are not going to perform our functions. What I mean is: stop moaning in the media and now even at the government level that the Belarusians are like shackles," Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said in summer 2017 that Minsk would buy 12 Su-30SM fighter aircraft from Russia to update its Air Force's fleet. The first two aircraft arrived in Belarus on November 13, 2019.