OSIPOVICHI DISTRICT, 17 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia will jointly discuss a possibility to recognize self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told journalists after he visited the Osipovichi training ground during the Belarus-Russia joint exercise Allied Resolve 2022 on 17 February, BelTA has learned.
A few days ago, the State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, voted in favor of sending an appeal to Vladimir Putin asking him to recognize self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. In this regard, the journalists asked the Belarusian head of state what Belarus will do if Russia recognizes portions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as self-standing “people's republics.”
“Putin and I will decide what will be in the best interests of Russia and Belarus. Yet, this will be a joint decision,” Aleksandr Lukashenko answered.
The journalists noted that the situation in Donbass had escalated again and asked the president whether Belarus is ready to offer military assistance to Russia if it decides to help the self-proclaimed republics.
“We will provide any support to Russia, both military and, if necessary, economic support. We will share the last piece of bread with them and with people who suffer in Donbass. If it is Chernigov, we will help Chernigov residents. This is our unwavering position,” the head of state said.
Yet, he believes that this is not really the issue, the main thing is to restore peace in this region. “Ukraine keeps saying that there must be peace in Donbass. Okay, let's take steps to bring back peace to this place, let's not dance to the tune of some commanders from across the ocean, but let's look at the Ukrainian land instead, because the war is on the territory of Ukraine. I said this to all Ukrainian presidents, and most of all to Poroshenko. And to Zelenskyy: “You have a war going on, it does not make sense to try to figure out who is right and who is wrong. We need to stop the war, bring back a normal life to Donbass.” And Putin (I told Poroshenko about it) is ready to help with this. They don't want it. It's probably better for them if people intimidate each other, or better, fight with each other,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.