Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko explained why Belarus needs missiles and what strategic tasks were set for Belarus’ defense system as he inspected the OKB TSP research and manufacturing company in Machulishchi near Minsk on 22 May.
“We will discuss the production of missiles. It would be great if all the countries of the world pulled the plug on wars. However, no one is going to do it yet despite epidemics, pandemics, hysterics. Wars have not been abolished. Unfortunately, people have to get ready for it during peaceful times. There is no escaping it. Unless you get ready for it now, you will face the consequences later, God forbid, of course,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko admitted that it costs a lot of money to develop such weaponry and to maintain the general defense capacity of the army. “It is expensive, very expensive these days. No one has extra money for it, except for those who print it (and this affects the whole world, including us). Therefore, although we do not have much money to spend, we still have to use it for the defense purposes,” the president noted.
“Our strategic task in the field of defense is to cause irreparable damage to our enemy [in the event of a military aggression from outside]. We should demonstrate that we are capable of doing it now, so that those who, God forbid, are contemplating of attacking us, will realize that we can respond adequately. The best response from the point of view of weaponry today is missiles, high-precision weapons,” the Belarusian leader said. In addition to that, the army is accommodating itself to the peculiarities of the Belarusian terrain with its forests and marshes.
“We are improving our Armed Forces this way. Naturally, we are not going to go global and seize other states. We are a peaceful country. Other countries are not ‘interested’ in us in this way. Therefore, it does not make any sense for us to test intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear weapons delivery. After all, we cannot do it. We should focus on what we can do. Therefore, we are promoting missile production,” the head of state said.
He added that he does not disregard small arms, armored vehicles, and anti-aircraft warfare. “We have shown all this at the parade. Now we will examine how we have fulfilled the program to produce high-precision missiles and other missiles,” the president concluded.
In Machulishchi the head of state studied promising pieces of armaments. Aleksandr Lukashenko was told about the projects that have already been completed or are underway. These projects have to do with upgrade of existing weapons as well as development and production of competitive and innovative Belarusian weapons. They are in demand in the Belarusian army and have great export prospects.
The head of state was told that the country started assembling Chinese missiles and is developing its own weaponry capable of reaching targets out to 300km in range. So far this project is running behind the schedule. “We need our own missile. If we have to rely on other countries to produce a certain weapon, we should not produce such a weapon. No one will simply give away such a weapon to us. We were lucky to strike a deal with the Chinese; we really appreciate their help. However, we should not depend on anyone anymore,” the president emphasized.
The engineers assured the head of state that the first prototype of this 300km missile will be developed by September. They said that they were considering missile ranges of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia to test this missile. However, Russia does not want to provide its testing areas so far. “Do not kneel in front of Russians. By refusing to collaborate in developing this missile and by refusing to provide even a testing area they are sending us a signal,” the president said.
The head of state gave specific instructions on how to address these issues. Some of them have to do with the improvement of the legal framework and the way Belarus interacts with its partners.
Aleksandr Lukashenko left his signature on Belarus’ first surface-to-air missile. It was launched this year from the Buk missile system that was upgraded in Belarus. “I would like to leave my signature on Polonez firing at a 300 km distance,” the Belarusian leader noted referring to the development and testing of this missile system.
In conclusion Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that the most important thing is to keep going. “If you start off, do not stop. However, money should not be wasted on the way,” the head of state added.