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16 February 2023, 14:24

Lukashenko calls for peace negotiations

Aleksandr Lukashenko
Aleksandr Lukashenko

MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) – Peace is inevitable in any case, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to foreign and Belarusian journalists and urged to start negotiations as soon as possible rather than continue the war, BelTA has learned.

“It is time to wake up. Who needs such freedom when you go to sleep and do not know whether you wake up tomorrow morning or not? Who needs such freedom?” Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed representatives of the Western media.

“Let us engage in talks. We need only peace. All this is going to end up in peace anyway. The world is growing interconnected. It may not matter if you live in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine or the United States. The world was moving in that direction, people were free to move around the world, to choose their place of residence. It does not matter whether there is a border here or there. This is the way things were going. Why are we killing each other?” the Belarusian leader said.

He pointed to the involvement of European countries in the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine by increasing the supply of weapons. “Why do you support Ukraine by stuffing them with weapons? Why do not you want to sit down at the negotiating table, as I suggest? You are already discussing supplying long-range weapons (up to 300km) and F-16 fighter jets, the most advanced ones. You are sending hundreds of Leopard tanks there. Why are you doing this? You understand that this is an escalation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“I hate wars. Belarusians hate wars. We don't want war. We want peace negotiations. But you have Zelensky bound hand and foot and do not let him to the negotiating table. This is my conviction, and many facts prove it. This means you want war,” the head of state said addressing the Western mass media. “We want peace! Do you, the United States, hear me? We want peace. Give the corresponding command to Zelensky and sit down at the negotiating table yourselves together with Putin, and I will sit next to you.”

“Wake up! Only the United States needs this massacre. Europe does not need it. If there is an escalation, it will be hot in Europe. The Europeans understand that, even the British understand that, never mind the Ukrainians,” the president said.

When asked what role he could play to end the war in Ukraine, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that everything depends on the joint decisions of the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. “I can do only what Putin and Zelensky ask me to (I have told Putin about it). In this case, nothing can be done without the United States. If the three presidents see me at least partially capable of helping to solve the issue, I am ready to do anything.”

At the same time, the president pointed out that no one can influence the Russian president: “He is a wise and strong person. Everyone understands justice their own way. Putin also has his concept of justice. If he is convinced that he is right and just about something, you will not be able to make him change his mind about it.”

When asked how the war in Ukraine could end, the Belarusian leader said: “In peace. All wars have ended in peace. The only question is when and how many people will die as a result.” The president emphasized that it was important to analyze the events and to get to the root causes of the conflict in order to understand how it started. The oppression of the Russian-speaking population and the fight against the Russian language in Ukraine played an important role in the conflict, the Belarusian leader is convinced. He recalled that there had been an attempt to split the society along the language principle in Belarus in the 1990s. But the issue was solved thanks to a wise policy of the then government, and now there is no such an issue on the agenda.

“If Putin is friends with someone, he will defend this person to the last drop of blood. I saw how he was disappointed (not only him, the entire Russian society) that Russians were being offended. It is the mind of every Russian person: Russians should not be offended. Americans are the same: if one person is offended somewhere, they are ready to fight (you went even further). What are you reproaching him for? He defended Russian people. If you, Americans, had agreed to start a dialogue on peace, believe me, the war would have been stopped, peace talks would have been started, and agreements would have been made not even to the detriment of the position the Ukrainian authorities hold today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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