Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed there may be “no method” his nation would ship troops into Ukraine until it’s attacked, amid fears Russia’s shut ally will assist to facilitate a spring offensive by Moscow.
“We’re peaceable individuals. We all know what battle is and we don’t need battle,” the authoritarian chief Lukashenko, who has shut ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated at a press convention in Minsk on Thursday.
“There isn’t a method we’re going to ship our troops to Ukraine until you’re going to commit aggression in opposition to Belarus,” Lukashenko stated. “However don’t neglect Russia is our ally, legally, morally and politically,” he added.
The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, in the meantime introduced that Putin will meet with Lukashenko within the Moscow area on Friday.
Belarus helped Russia launch its preliminary invasion of Ukraine final February, permitting the Kremlin’s troops to enter the nation by the 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) Ukrainian-Belarusian border to the north of Kyiv.
Minsk has since claimed on quite a few events that Ukrainian drones and missiles have entered its territory, generally with out offering proof.
There have been fears all through the battle that Belarus will once more be used as a launching floor for one more offensive, or that Lukashenko’s personal troops will be a part of the battle, citing such episodes as provocation in opposition to its sovereignty. Tensions have been mounting on the border once more in latest days as Ukraine braces for a renewed assault.
Lukashenko continued to say Thursday that Russia has “by no means requested” him to start out a joint battle in Ukraine.
A CNN crew visited Belarus’s southwest border close to northwest Ukraine earlier this week, accompanied by state border officers.
The CNN crew had been 100 meters (328 toes) away from the Ukrainian facet, the place they noticed the Belarusian authorities’s fortification of the border space with barbed wire in a rigorously orchestrated and tightly managed press tour.
Based on the CNN crew on the bottom, the Ukrainian facet of the border is closely barricaded with a number of layers of barbed wire and earth mounds to cease anybody from going by.
Belarusian officers informed CNN the border crossing from their facet within the small city of Dyvin remains to be functioning however that the Ukrainian facet has closed the crossing.
Kyiv has closed all border crossings to Belarus, besides to sometimes enable entry to Ukrainian refugees who wish to return to their residence nation, out of concern Belarus might be used for an additional invasion by Russia.
The CNN crew might see a Ukrainian flag on Ukraine’s facet of the border crossing and a pink and white flag which is related to the Belarusian opposition – a transfer Belarusian authorities referred to as a “provocation.”
Previously below Soviet management till declaring its sovereignty in 1990, Belarus stays one among Russia’s closest allies and has performed a key function in its invasion of Ukraine – regardless of Lukashenko saying beforehand his nation was “being dragged” into the battle.
Russian troops launched the invasion on February 24, crossing into Ukraine from Belarus after months amassing alongside Ukraine’s border. Within the first days of the assault, Russian Tu-22 “Backfire” bombers used Belarusian airspace to launch coordinated cruise missile assaults on targets inside Ukraine. Extra lately, the 2 nations have engaged in joint army drills close to the Belarus-Ukraine crossing.
- Belarus claims it will not ship troops to Ukraine until it’s attacked, as tensions escalate at border | CNN
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