Belarus ready to start production of Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft, Lukashenko says

Belarus is ready to launch the production of Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft, which “have proved to be efficient in Ukraine,” Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting Friday, according to Belarus state news agency BelTA.

“As I was informed by the government, they are ready for the production of the Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft that have proved to be efficient in Ukraine. We are even ready to produce them in Belarus if the Russian Federation provides a little bit of technological support,” Lukashenko told Putin, according to BelTA. 

“You once raised the question of cooperation in aircraft production in the Eurasian Economic Union,” Lukashenko said, according to BelTA. “So I should tell you that the Belarusians are already producing up to a thousand component parts for the MC-21 [Russia’s medium-range narrow-body passenger aircraft] and Sukhoi Superjet 100 [Russia’s short-range narrow-body passenger aircraft].”

“We have three factories: two military and one civilian. They used to be repair shops. Today they produce component parts,” Lukashenko said, according to BelTA.

The two met Friday at Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo in the Moscow region, according to the Kremlin. 

Lukashenko claimed on Thursday there is “no way” his country would send troops into Ukraine unless it is attacked, and said Russia has “never asked” him to start a joint war in Ukraine.

Speaking at a small gathering of journalists from international media, including CNN, at Minsk’s Palace of Independence, Lukashenko ducked questions from international media about his country’s complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and instead blamed the West for escalating the conflict by sending weapons to Ukraine. 

CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen and Zahra Ullah contributed to this post.

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