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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Russia, Belarus to Sign Missile Defense Pact

Russia and Belarus plan to sign an air-defense agreement next month that will create a joint missile defense system, a senior Belarusian official said today (see GSN, April 11, 2002).

“Belarus hopes to sign the agreement; our side has prepared everything,” said Sergei Gurulyov, chief of staff and first deputy defense minister.

Russia is also prepared to sign, a senior military official said.

“The prime minister has all the documents to sign,” said Vladimir Mikhailov, commander in chief of the Russian air force.

The pact would create the initial stage in a larger air-defense system, Mikhailov said.

“This is merely the first step, as we are going to have united air defense with many other [former Soviet] republics in the end,” he said (Interfax, Oct. 23).
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