Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus | Today Headlines

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus

| Latest News Headlines | Yahoo news

Two Russian nuclear-capable long-range bombers patrolled the skies of Belarus on Saturday in a mission to underline the close defense ties between the two allies amid tensions with the West

The Russian Defense Ministry said two Tu-22M3s flew a four-hour mission to train “to perform joint tasks with the Belarusian air force and air defense”. The bombers were escorted by Belarusian Su-30 fighters, which Russia supplied to its ally.

Saturday’s Russian bomber patrol marked a third such mission since last month.

Some Ukrainian officials have expressed concern that Russia could use the territory of its ally Belarus to attack Ukraine.

Moscow strongly supported Belarus amid a tense standoff last month when thousands of migrants and refugees, mostly from the Middle East, gathered on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland in the hope to move to Western Europe.

European Union has accused authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging illegal border crossings as a “hybrid attack” in retaliation against EU sanctions against his government for its crackdown on internal dissent after re-election contested by Lukashenko in 2020.

Amid tensions with the West, Lukashenko said last month that his country would be ready to welcome Russian nuclear weapons.

The Belarusian leader did not specify what kind of weapons Belarus would be ready to receive, but noted that the former Soviet nation has carefully preserved the necessary military infrastructure dating back to the days of the USSR.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called Lukashenko’s offer “a serious warning sparked by irresponsible Western policy”.

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