belarus It will only fight with Russian forces against Ukraine if the country is attacked, the Belarusian president said Thursday. Alexander Lukashenkoduring an unusual meeting with foreign media in Minsk.
“I am ready to fight with the Russians from the territory of Belarus only in one case: if a soldier comes from there [de Ucrania] with a gun to our territory to kill our peoplehe declared.
“This applies not only to Ukraine, but also to all other neighbors,” Lukashenko continued.
”If they attack Belarus, the reprisals will be the cruelest. The cruelest! And then the war will take a completely different turn.”he warned.
Belarus is serving as a rear base for Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, which began a year ago. Russian soldiers and equipment are still deployed there today.
According to several analysts, the Kremlin is putting pressure on Lukashenko to order his army to join the offensive.
But the Belarusian leader has so far refused to do so, despite his heavy political and economic dependence on Moscow, especially since a massive protest movement took place in 2020.
The Belarusian president announced, on the other hand, that the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, will talk on Friday.
In mid-October, Belarus and Russia announced the creation of a joint military force with a mission, according to Minsk, purely “defensive”.
The two countries frequently hold joint military exercises, fueling speculation that the Belarusian army could take part in the offensive in Ukraine.
the army prepared
”In Belarus, in times of peace, there are 75,000 men in the Army. But if necessary, in conditions of war and at various stages their number can be up to half a million”, said Lukashenko, quoted by the BELTA agency.
At the same time, he assured that “no one wants war” and we must “talk about peace”.
However, Ukraine and the West, according to Lukashenko, are not ready for it.
“You are simply not ready and it would be a great tragedy and catastrophe for you if peace negotiations start now. You need war, ”he asserted in a meeting with foreign journalists.
In the opinion of the Belarusian leader, Moscow’s main ally in its campaign in Ukraine, kyiv now has “favorable conditions” to end hostilities.
Lukashenko added that Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky has to think about the future and “end the war” instead of asking their Western allies for arms, risking the lives of “another 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000 Ukrainians”.
“Zelenski simply has to understand that he is a president who has a country and that he must carry out an independent policy,” he said.
(with information from AFP and EFE)
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