Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko believes that time has come to expand defence-related cooperation with Russia, including arms exports. In his words, cooperation between the two countries in exporting arms and military hardware to foreign markets "is no secret." "We have something to sell, most importantly, we do not break international norms and standards," Mr. Lukashenko said. On Wednesday, the head of Belarus met Director General of the Rosoboronexport company Andrei Belyaninov and Executive Secretary of the Russian-Belarussian Financial and Industrial Group Oboronitelnye Sistemy Sergei Batekhin. Oboronitelnye Sistemy (or Defensive Systems) is the only interstate financial and industrial group created on the basis of preexisting cooperation between Russian and Belarussian companies, which worked together to design, produce, and upgrade air-defence systems.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated