Updated at 15:40,13-12-2017

Belarus eager to take Ukraine's place as key supplier of military equipment for Russia

Naviny.by

Belarus has urged Russia to replace Ukrainian-made military equipment with its products, Oleg Bochkaryov, deputy head of Russia's Defense Industry Commission, told reporters in Minsk on July 9.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international arms show, Mr. Bochkaryov noted that Belarus had just offered to sell Russia some 1,500 units of military and dual-purpose equipment.

"We don't intend to sever ties with Ukraine's defense industry," he said. "But such severance may take place."

According to the official, Russia is eager to forge closer ties with the Belarusian defense industry.

Russia can buy not only components but also finished products from Belarus today, he added.

It would take Russia three years to fully replace Ukrainian suppliers of military equipment with other countries' companies, Mr. Bochkaryov said. He expressed hope that Russia and Ukraine would manage to preserve their cooperation in the sphere.