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Russia's Vladimir Putin moves to establish Russian military air base in neighboring Belarus

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, second left, and Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, left, visit the Sirius college for gifted children in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, second left, and Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, left, visit the Sirius college for gifted children in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, front, meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, front, meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on his arrival in Orenburg region, about 1300 kilometers (800 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on his arrival in Orenburg region, about 1300 kilometers (800 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled his intentions to establish a Russian military air base in neighboring Belarus.

Belarus has made clear it would not welcome a Russian base but the former Soviet republic remains dependent on Moscow for credit and energy.

Putin on Saturday ordered the Russian Defense Ministry, with the participation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, to hold talks with their Belarusian counterparts and sign the agreement that is reached.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has not commented on Putin's initiative. The two presidents met Friday in the Russian city of Sochi.

Russia has two military facilities in Belarus — a radar station and a submarine communications center — but this would be the first base.

Belarus borders Ukraine and three NATO and EU members: Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.