Moscow, Minsk to build air def in response to US missiles in EU

MOSCOW, August 20 (Itar-Tass) -- Creation of a common air defense system of Russia and Belarus may prove the retaliatory measure the deployment of US missile defense components in Poland and the Czech Republic may entail.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday agreed that a treaty to this effect should be signed as early as this autumn.

Analysts see a number of reasons for the change in Minsk's position, including this one. The latest events have shown that Moscow is determined to play the key role in the post-Soviet space, and in doing so it will care little about the opinion of the "international community", so-called.

Lukashenko on Tuesday at last expressed his attitude to the operation in South Ossetia. In the most flattering fashion he approved of Russia's intervention. "Everything was done excellently, very calmly, wisely and neatly. In a situation like this the West would act in a way that would cause the whole world to shudder," he said.

"This belated approval of Russia's actions by the Belarussian president looked so clumsy and out of place, that Dmitry Medvedev could not but at least feel regret all this happened in front of the cameras," says the daily Vremya Novostei.



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