16 December 2018, Sunday, 14:42
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Russian Airbase to Be a Powder Keg for Ukraine

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Residents of frontier Chernihiv speak about a new threat both for Ukraine and Belarus.

At a popular meeting in Minsk people protested against Russian military airbase in Belarus. They believe it jeopardizes country's independence. Former political prisoner and presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich believes that such airbase is directed, inter alia, against Ukraine. Do residents of Chernihiv feel such threat? Its residents were interviewed by Radio Svaboda.

Alexander Yasyanchuk, regional coordinator on self-defence issues in Chernihiv region:

- I think it’s an unfriendly gesture of the Belarusian leadership with respect to Ukraine. Especially, when taking into account events in the south-west of the country and in Syria. Any expansion of a military presence in the world causes a certain concern. And the fact that the Russian troops, aircraft, deployed northwards is alarming, putting it mildly. Weighing the situation, I see that Belarus possesses good forces and they are against it. I guess it is good. The situation in the region is not alarming, there is no need to deploy Russian military base in Babruisk.

Petro Antonenko, editor of Sweet-info:

- First, people still know a little about it. Information on protest actions in Minsk appeared on the Internet. Perhaps, it happened not only in Minsk. My newspaper will inform about your protests. But what should I say when a part of Donbas is occupied by Russian troops? Besides, Russian military bases and units are deployed along the Ukrainian border. And not only in Rostov region, but in Bryansk, next to our Chernigivschyna with bases and exercises. We observe it every day. What could be a greater threat, when there are numerous Russian military bases there? Russian troops are a direct threat to Ukraine. And we say that a part of Donbas is occupied by Russia. One or two more bases in Belarus do not make the threat to Ukraine greater. It is rather a trouble for Belarus.

Tatstsiana Zhohalka, civil activist:

- Deployment of the base will turn into trouble for us. Such a base is a danger to us, especially with such a cynical, mean and impudent northern neighbour. We will feel like sitting on a powder keg.

It should be reminded that Russian airbase to appear in January 2016. Su-27 fighters capable to carry nuclear ammunition will be located there.

Representatives of Defence and Foreign Ministry of Russia together with Minsk colleagues have started agreement preparation on Russian airbase in Belarus. There are no core disagreements.. Signature of the document is planned on the regular joint meeting of defence departments that takes place within two next weeks.