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Belarus Holding Off Russian Pressure On Air Base, But For How Long?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko meet in Moscow on December 15. (photo: kremlin.ru)

The prospect of a Russian air base in Belarus "will not be discussed," Belarus's defense minister has said, but regional analysts believe the issue is far from resolved. 

Belarus-Russia relations have been a little strained lately, with one bone of contention being Russia's open desire to establish an air base on the territory its western neighbor, and Belarus's resistance. Russian officials have been talking about the base for two years, with regular statements met by conspicuous silence from Minsk. That changed in October when President Alexander Lukashenko, for the first time, said Belarus didn't need a Russian base, and furthermore denying that there had even been discussions to that effect.

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Belarus Holding Off Russian Pressure On Air Base, But For How Long?

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