Belarusian demonstrators protest Russian air base
Protesters took to the streets of the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on Sunday to voice their opposition to a planned Russian military air base. But some believe the former Soviet state has little choice.
Around 1,000 opposition activists marched through Minsk on Sunday, chanting "No foreign military bases!" and waving placards reading "We want a peaceful sky."
They say the Russian base would make it impossible for Belarus to maintain neutrality between the West and Moscow, and add to regional tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave orders for his ministers to agree a deal over the base with Belarus in September.
The Russian side is grateful to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for his decision to go to Russia as the visit after the presidential election, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Belarus Alexander Surikov said in an interview with the STV channel, BelTA has learned.
“We are grateful for this decision,” the Ambassador said.