MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – Attempts are being made to drag Belarus into war. Western neighbors are particularly persistent at it. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in his Address to the nation and the parliament on 31 March, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “War is somewhere far away: in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. But war is already here: there is a bitter conflict over our fence and you can see what is going on inside. The things I warned you about in 2020 are happening: they tried everything back then and have approached the only option: the military one in order to break us. This is what's happening. There will always be a pretext. They are trying to drag Belarus into war. These facts cannot be concealed.”
The president pointed out that in 2023 alone Poland intends to spend about €21 billion on military needs or about 3% of the GDP. 70% more than in 2022. The figure may rise to €27.7 billion or 4% of the GDP by 2024. “It is twice as much as NATO demanded. Why? Who threatens Poland?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.
The rearmament of the Polish army is going fast. With offensive weapons at that. In accordance with the latest contracts alone Poland will soon receive 366 Abrams tanks and 1,000 South Korean Black Panther tanks as well as 900 self-propelled howitzers K9A1, 38 multiple-launch rocket systems HIMARS, 50 anti-armor missile systems Javelin, and 1,500 infantry fighting vehicles Borsuk of its own make.
“The decision to increase the number of military personnel up to 300,000 people by 2035 has been made. In other words, practically two times as many as what Poland has today. The realization of these plans will advance Warsaw to the leading position among NATO countries in Europe. And Americans are doing it deliberately,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
Meanwhile, NATO troops are being redeployed to the east fast. The NATO forces in Poland and the Baltic states alone are estimated at over 21,000 military personnel, 250 battle tanks, nearly 500 armored vehicles, about 150 aircraft and helicopters. “And this entire armada is deliberately staging exercises near the borders of Belarus and Russia. I wonder why,” the president said.
Besides, the formation of some regiments, legions for the sake of deposing the Belarusian government is in full swing in Poland, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. In his words, all these facts will be published with time, secret and scrupulous work is in progress for now.
“But trust me, I've never lied to you: they are getting ready to invade Belarus' territory in order to destroy our country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. “They are making militants out of our fugitive opposition activists. In simple terms, bandits, who can be wasted. They are getting their first experience in Ukraine now. Truth be told, as cannon fodder mostly.”
“Meanwhile, terrorists are being trained and inserted into our country for the sake of staging acts of sabotage and acts of intimidation. They are trying to establish underground extremist cells in order to coordinate protest activities. They are passing on weapons and financial resources. Do you think they are doing it for no purpose? They have concrete plans and they are not afraid of talking about it openly,” Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.
The president mentioned several quotes of army officers from NATO countries. For instance, Inspector General of the German army, Colonel-General Eberhard Zorn stated on 8 September 2022: “Belarus can join the war. In this case NATO member states have to start clandestine operations against targets in its territory. NATO should get ready to support political changes in Eastern Europe with military means. A democratic revolution and a people's uprising in Belarus can be such changes.”
In late 2022 Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said: “If Ukraine can secure a decisive victory in the east, then NATO should seriously consider the matter of opening the second front – against Belarus.” According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Mariusz Blaszczak spoke in favor of the option during a secret conference.
Commander of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division Joseph P. McGee made a statement of his own as well: “Belarus is one of the possible targets. The 101st Airborne Division is trained to occupy strategic locations in Belarus' territory.”
“These are just several facts obtained by our intelligence service. In emerging conditions and the military and political situation around our country I've reactivated negotiations (insistently) with the Russian president on the return of nuclear weapons to Belarus. The return of the nuclear weapons, which were removed in the 1990s,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.