October 28, 2015 / 6:59 AM / 2 years ago

Belarus says Russian military base will worsen tensions: Kommersant

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Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 30, 2014.Shannon Stapleton

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarus sees no need to discuss placing a Russian air base in the country as it will not help to lower tensions in the region, Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei was quoted as saying by Russia's Kommersant newspaper.

Makei was on a visit to Russia on Tuesday but the trip did not appear to have changed the Belarussian government's view on the base. Moscow wants to establish the base to counter what it sees as NATO's eastward advance.

"Placing an air base will not reduce military and political tensions in the region. Conversely, the air base will lead to irritation toward both Minsk and Moscow," Makei told Kommersant in an interview.

"We think there is no need to have a discussion on placing a base in Belarus."

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe

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