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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting with members of the Council of Ministers and Security Council in Minsk on March 1.BELTA/Reuters

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he had asked Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to deploy an additional S-400 missile complex west of Minsk, the RIA news agency reported, citing another news agency, Belta.

The complex is needed to defend the territory of Belarus, Lukashenko was quoted as saying.

Belarus is also deploying more forces on its border with Ukraine, state news agency Belta quoted Lukashenko as saying on Tuesday.

“Those are well trained rapid deployment groups which are ready to stop any provocation and any military action against Belarus,” Lukashenko said.

Meanwhile, Lukashenko said the start of talks between Ukraine and Russia raises hope that hostilities may end, the RIA news agency quoted.

The first round of talks held in Belarus on Monday produced no tangible results as fighting in Ukraine continued.

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