Volodimir Zelensky warned Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday not to drag his people into Russia’s war against Ukraine.
“You must not drag Belarus into Russia‘s war of aggression against Ukraine and violation of all international treaties, international law as a whole,” the Ukrainian president said at a joint press conference with the Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanesequoted by the agency Ukrinform.
He described as “dangerous” the signal given off by Lukashenko’s statements about a united army of Belarus and Russia and about the decision taken “long ago” to participate in what Moscow describes as a “special operation”.
“I think we will see the result of these signals,” he added, saying that in general he finds what Lukashenko is doing dangerous for the neighboring Belarusian people.
On the other hand, he stressed that it is not a secret for anyone to launch Russian missiles against Ukraine from Belarusian territory. kyiv said last week that rockets fired from Belarus had hit a border region within its territory.
Lukashenko denied on Saturday that his country wanted to intervene in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but issued a threat directed at kyiv and its Western allies.
“As I said more than a year ago, we have no intention to fight in Ukraine… We will only fight in one case. If you enter our land, if you kill our people, then we will respond,” he added, warning that Belarus would respond “instantly” to an enemy attack on its soil.
Belarus, a longtime Kremlin ally, has supported Russia’s military operation in Ukraine since February 24, acting as a rear base for Moscow’s forces.
Russian troops crossed the Belarusian border into Ukraine while trying unsuccessfully to take the capital, kyiv.
Lukashenko is heavily dependent on Russia militarily and economicallyand had the support of his neighbor to stabilize his position when widespread protests broke out in 2020 following an election that the Belarusian opposition says he stole.
Putin announced last week that Moscow will deliver Iskander-M missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Belarus “in the coming months.”
“Less than a month ago, I ordered our armed forces to put the decision centers of their capitals in our sights”Lukashenko said on Saturday, citing missiles promised by Putin and the Belarusian Polonez rocket launcher.
The Iskander-M, mounted on self-propelled ramps, have a range of up to 500 kilometers.
The Belarusian dictator also said he was concerned about the training flights of US and NATO aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons. “They rehearse how to transport nuclear weapons. You, please, help us to adapt our planes,” the Belarusian president told Putin.
And he asked him to “adapt” his planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons. “A lot of Su-25 (aircraft) are in service with the Belarusian air force. They could be improved in an appropriate way. This modernization must be carried out at aircraft factories in Russia and the training of personnel should begin accordingly,” Putin said.
“And I totally agree with you that we have to worry about our security, the security of the State Union (Russia-Belarus) and perhaps of other countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” added the Russian, referring to the alliance. which, in addition to Russia and Belarus, make up Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The controversial announcement comes hours after Ukraine denounced a brutal Russian attack perpetrated from Bio-Russian territory this morning.
Since the beginning of his invasion, Putin has repeatedly addressed, more or less directly, the issue of Russian nuclear weapons, something that Western countries see as threats aimed at dissuading them from supporting kyiv.
With information from EFE and AFP
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