MINSK, 7 January (BelTA) – Belarus send its peacekeepers as part of the CSTO contingent to Kazakhstan to restore peace, not to fight, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited a church in Minsk on Christmas, 7 January, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the self-exiled Belarusian opposition are trying to twist this peacekeeping topic and use it to their advantage. "They say that Belarus has allegedly sent forces to Kazakhstan to fight for Kazakhstan," the head of state said.
"We are not fighting for anyone. There is only one company of our peacekeepers. It is a peacekeeping force. We have informed the UN that we would help Kazakhstan to restore peace. We came to Kazakhstan not to kill or not to fight. We are peaceful people. Our servicemen are peacefully too. We came there to help them," the Belarusian leader stressed.
He noted that many people have already died in Kazakhstan on both sides: "There were cases when they killed policemen and military personnel and cut their heads off. This is the manifestation of the terrorist organizations that we saw in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq."
“We have to stop this confrontation. This is what we are doing right now,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also addressed those who are trying to “make hay” over the peacekeepers topic: “I would like you to keep in mind that Kazakhstan is our economic partner. Our annual trade with Kazakhstan exceeds $1 billion. We sell there a huge amount of goods. If we do not stand together with Kazakhstan's people and government, there will be nothing for us to do there in the future. They will simply not let us in again, and what we are doing is the right thing. True friends and allies should always be there for you when you need them. Never mind that we should comply with an international agreement. We, the five states [CSTO], are bound by international agreements.”
“The main thing here is to treat your friends the same way you want them to treat you. It is simple and clear,” the head of state said.