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Russia to sell missile systems to Belarus

(Xinhua)

14:44, April 19, 2012

MINSK, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia will continue selling TOR-M2E air defense missile systems to Belarus in 2012 at discount prices, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Wednesday.

"Belarus is a leading market for Russian weapons and military hardware among other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) member states and we will continue discount-price sales of TOR-M2E air defense missile systems and deliveries of Russian-made weapons and military hardware to Belarusian security services," Serdyukov said after a session of the joint board of the Russian and Belarusian defense ministries in Minsk.

Hailing the relations between the defense ministries of two countries, Serdyukov said Russia plans to continue training personnel for the Belarusian armed forces, including as part of no- fee programs.

"The present-day situation is prompting us to step up cooperation with our allies, primarily Belarus. We are troubled both by an increase in NATO's activity near the borders of the Russia-Belarus Union and plans of the U.S. and other members of the alliance to deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Europe," Serdyukov added.

The two countries plan to "continue their constructive dialogue aimed at bolstering their common security," said the Russian minister, adding that providing aid to allies and partners is one of Russia's top priorities.

Based on that principle, Moscow is developing the integration on the CIS territory as well as strengthening cooperation within the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Belarusian Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin said military cooperation between Belarus and Russia plays a central role in the country's security.

"Belarus is interested in further development and expansion of cooperation with the Russian Federation," Zhadobin said.

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