Belarusian Popular Front set to oppose establishment of Russian airbase in Belarus, leader says

The Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) is determined to oppose the planned establishment of a Russian airbase in Belarus

 

The Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) is determined to oppose the planned establishment of a Russian airbase in Belarus, leader Alyaksey Yanukevich told reporters in Minsk on September 3, BelaPAN said.

BPF activists have applied for permission to stage 20 small demonstrations in different cities against the establishment of Russian military bases in the country, he said.

Three of the applications have already been rejected, Mr. Yanukevich said. For example, the Slutsk District Executive explained that Belarus had a system of military security and the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that there was no "real threat" of the establishment of foreign military bases or other military facilities in Belarus, he said.

"As a party that defends national interests and firmly supports the country's independence we are very concerned about the matter, as indeed the establishment of a Russian military base in Belarus does not meet Belarus' national interests and poses a security threat both to the country and its citizens," Mr. Yanukevich said.

He accused the Kremlin of continuing attempts to bring Belarus into its sphere of influence, and said that the Customs Union was a tool used by Moscow in these efforts.

"It is obvious to us that… it is impossible to do business honestly with the Russians on their terms," he said.