President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said he is not aware of plans to establish a Russian military air base in Belarus.
"We don't need a base at the moment," Lukashenka said on October 6. "I hear shrieks from the opposition about the deployment of a Russian air base. I don't know anything about it,"
The Belarusian president was speaking two days after some 500 opposition activists rallied in central Minsk against the establishment of such a base.
In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to a government proposal to sign a deal for the military air base, and ordered officials to start talks on the issue with Belarus.
Russia has two military facilities in Belarus — a radar station and a submarine communications center. It also has some fighter aircraft in the neighboring country, but the plan would establish the first full-scale base there since Soviet times.