Belarus wants to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system (ADS) on liberal loan from Russia, said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
"Such a question was put before the President of Russia - that at a reasonable price, for a loan - because we do not have that kind of money now. But we are conducting a dialogue with him (with the President of the Russian Federation, about (S)-400 to be delivered to the Republic of Belarus, "Lukashenko said during an interaction with the public and the media on Monday.
“The S-400 is of great interest to us, and I am sure that we will receive these complexes,” he added.
According to Lukashenko, the funds of the Russian state loan, which was previously issued for the construction of the BelNPP, (nuclear power plant) can be used to purchase the S-400 air defense system and other modern weapons of the Russian Federation. "We saved a lot of money at the nuclear power plant. But there was a promise from Putin: here is a loan for the nuclear power plant of $ 10 billion - how much you will save - for other projects," he reportedly said according to Interfax.
"There will remain from $ 300 million to $ 500 million - a decent amount, we will send for the purchase of military-technical equipment, including the S-400 complexes," he said.
On January 14, the commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of Belarus Igor Golub said that Belarus plans to conclude a contract with Russia for the supply of S-400 systems and Pantsir-S complexes.
If Belarus signs up to buy the S-400, it will become the fourth foreign customer to have the S-400 ADS after China, India and Turkey.
Given strained relations between Belarus and the West, the S-400 ADS could ensure that NATO warplanes are kept at bay.