Alexander Lukashenko has called for the upholding of the traditions of Belarus-Russia camaraderie-in-arms.
"A union with the great Russia will multiply Belarus' defense capability," the Belarussian President pointed out Saturday as he was opening a military parade in the capital of Minsk, to mark Belarus Independence Day and the 60th anniversary of the republic's liberation from Nazi occupation during World War II.
Belarus will be safeguarding the sacred traditions of its camaraderie-in-arms with Russia, President Lukashenko emphasized as he addressed the tens of thousands of fellow countrymen who had gathered to watch the parade. He said that Belarus was ready for "constructive interaction with anyone coming our way with peaceful intentions." "We seek to achieve our foreign political ends by peaceful means only, and we make every effort to ensure that the Belarussian borders are borders of peace and security," he pointed out.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian army is today "a formidable military force, capable of waging a modern war." But "armed forces can be employed only to repulse an armed aggression and to defend the state's independence and territorial integrity. Belarus vehemently rejects warfare as an instrument of foreign politics," stressed the Belarussian leader.
Today was the first time President Lukashenko had opened a military parade in a Commander-in-Chief's uniform. The parade is being broadcast live by all of the republic's major television channels. Over 4,000 servicemen and women are taking part in the event, which shows off military hardware of the WWII as well as modern weaponry and equipment (350 various types, in all).
More than forty military helicopters and fighter jets (Su24's, Su25's, Su27's, and MiG29's) have taken off the ground for demonstration flights as part of the parade.
Russian politicians, community leaders, cosmonauts, and researchers have been invited to attend the event as guests of honor.