Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin

    The optimization of the Belarusian army has earned about $42 million over the last three years, Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin informed Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 21 March.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that he had promised to take a closer look at some aspects of the Belarusian army’s operation. “I requested proposals for improving the armaments, materiel, its modernization primarily using Belarusian enterprises,” said the head of state. “We have agreed that in the near future we will make up our minds regarding air defense systems, air forces, how many aircraft, helicopters we need and which ones and so on”.

    “I asked you to keep in mind that we cannot destroy anything — you see what’s going on around Belarus — and remember that those, who are unwilling to feed their own army, will feed a foreign army. It is not our idea but we are the ones responsible for the state of our armed forces, the numbers and training,” noted the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the Belarusian Defense Ministry had worked on these matters and said he wanted to hear about results. He went on saying that if necessary, the Security Council could discuss a larger number of matters.

    Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin noted that as they were working out the main guidelines for the future development of the Belarusian army, they focused on keeping the combat potential of the Belarusian army and reducing the burden on the central state budget. According to the Minister, the fulfillment of the Belarusian army optimization concept the President has approved is in progress. The economic effect from the concept’s implementation over the last three years is close to $42 million. It has been achieved primarily due to the reduction of several positions, the release of 14 military towns and their transition to municipal authorities.