The Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Nigeria, Mr Vyacheslav Bril, has commended the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for the role it has continued to play in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in Nigeria, especially since 2015.
The Ambassador assured NAF of the Belarusian Government’s continued support in this regard whilst identifying possible areas of collaboration between his country and the NAF.
Some of these areas include; Acquisition and repairs of aircraft and aviation equipment, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology; Aircraft armament; Airfield meteorological equipment; Training as well as cyber security, amongst others.
This was made known by the Ambassador on Monday, while on a courtesy call to the Office of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Headquarters NAF Abuja.
Mr Vyacheslav, stated further that the Belarusian Government and its people were open to more cooperation with Nigeria so as to deepen the relationship between the two countries.
He also seized the opportunity to invite a NAF team to attend the 2019 International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) scheduled to hold in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in May.
In his remarks, the CAS expressed delight to receive the Ambassador in his Office and thanked him for highlighting the range of opportunities in Belarus which could be exploited by the NAF to surmount some of its extant challenges.
Air Marshal Abubakar, noted that Nigeria and Belarus had maintained a very cordial and mutually-beneficial relationship, which had spanned several years and resulted in tangible results.
He remarked that many of the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) personnel, which included some NAF officers and men, were trained in Belarus and highlighted that the AFSF was instrumental to most major successes recorded in the Northeast since their induction into the Theatre of Operation in 2014.
He equally attested to the dexterity of Belarusian aircraft technicians, having had some attached to his unit while serving as the Commander 115 Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt.
Accordingly, he said, he was fairly-well acquainted with the level of expertise in defence and security matters that was available in Belarus and therefore expressed the willingness of the NAF to explore the opportunities presented by Belarus, especially in the area of training.
He said arrangements would, consequently, be made for a team of NAF officers to not only attend IDEX 2019 but also visit some of the training institutions, factories and repair facilities in Belarus as well as hold technical discussions with a view to ascertaining specific areas of collaboration that would enhance NAF operations.