The President of Russia Vladimir Putin brought in a bill to the State Duma of the Russian Federation in agreement with Belarus, allowing the use of air-defence capabilities on the borders with Ukraine and the EU countries. The draft bill was introduced on Thursday, - the website of the State Duma reports.
The President of the Russian Federation asks the State Duma to adopt a protocol "On ratification of the Protocol on making amendments and additions to the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on joint protection of the external border of the Union State in airspace and creation of the Unified Regional Air Defence System of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus of February 3, 2009".
The protocol was signed on November 2, 2016 in Minsk. Its provisions clarify the conceptual framework of the Agreement, as well as make amendments concerning the institutional structure of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the procedure for the use of weapons and military equipment by air defence duty officers in joint fulfillment of combat duty missions.
"The implementation of Protocol will improve the security of external border of the Union State in the airspace, will enhance the security of two states and will not require additional appropriations of the federal budget", - the report said.
It was earlier reported that from September 14 to 20 this year, "West-2017 large-scale strategic exercises will simultaneously take place in several training ranges of Russia and Belarus. Announcing the maneuvers, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu called them "the main event of joint training of Russian and Belarusian armed forces in 2017".
NATO notes that during previous large-scale maneuvers in 2013, Russia worked out the operations of special forces and held test operations, which were later used during the annexation of the Crimea.
The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has guaranteed security from the north to Ukraine. "Today, I have once again received the assurance that the territory of the Republic of Belarus, which is friendly to Ukraine, will never be used for aggressive actions against Ukraine, and the Ukrainian-Belarusian border will never be the border of war", - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated after meeting with his Belarusian colleague in July.