Unless Kyiv is going to commit aggression against Belarus, there is no way Belarus would send troops into Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed on Thursday.
Dressing up his comments as a stern warning to Ukraine and other Western nations, Lukashenko however pointed out that if at least one soldier sets foot in Belarus to kill his people, he’s ready to fight together with the Russians from the territory of Belarus.
Amid fears that Minsk will help facilitate a spring offensive by Moscow as Russia’s close ally, Lukashenko also reminded the West not to forget that Russia is Belarus’ ally, legally, morally, and politically.
The authoritarian Belarusian leader insisted that Belarus is a peaceful nation despite allowing its territory to be used as a staging ground for the war.
He parroted Moscow’s claims that it’s the Ukrainian authorities that have provoked this operation he claims wasn’t an invasion but protection of the interests of Russia and the Russian people who live there, blaming Kyiv and the West for the war.
The Belarusian strongman also stressed that Moscow has never asked him to start a joint war in Ukraine, skillfully ducking questions from international media about Minsk’s complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Having in mind the fact that Lukashenko’s comments come one day before he was due in Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov previously announced, many see his remarks as strategically designed to preempt a request that Lukashenko deploys his own forces in Ukraine and to adjust Russia’s expectations.
In that sense, Lukashenko reiterated Belarus’s support for peaceful negotiations, blaming the West for escalating the situation by supporting Ukraine and pumping Kyiv with weapons instead of sitting down to negotiate.
Pointing out that the US is the only one who needs and wants this slaughter, Lukashenko at the same time accused Washington of preventing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from negotiating.