MINSK, 5 May (BelTA) – It is bad for Belarus that practically two neighboring countries are at war. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in an interview with Associated Press, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is bad for us that practically two neighboring countries are at war. Countries, which are very close for us.”
The president stressed that Belarusians are dead against wars. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 the country lost one third of its population and every square meter of its territory suffered. “How can we facilitate a war? But you have to understand that we are allies, Belarus and the Russian Federation are the closest allies. We have the tightest military and political union. We haven't hidden it from anyone. We practically have one army,” he added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that Belarus and Russia conducted joint exercises at the beginning of the year. These war games were not hidden from partners. After the exercises ended, some of the Russian troops, which remained in the Belarusian territory, became involved in the special operation in Donbass. But everything had been started with a provocation from Ukraine, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. He reminded that tactical missile systems Tochka-U had been deployed near the Belarusian border. Decisive measures had to be taken to prevent a strike against Belarus.
“We were lucky that troops stayed there after the war games. Russians tracked it and helped us hit those four sites. And some of the troops truly left Belarus for Ukraine. Was I supposed to act differently? I think not. You cannot reproach me for anything due to the latest events. Because the United States of America and the West are racking up tensions by supplying weapons and the rest instead of ending the war in Ukraine, instead of ending it decently now. I dare assure you that Russia is taking it easy on Ukraine. It is only the beginning. And it has to be finished first. There is no need to whip up tensions. And there is no need to reproach us for siding with Russia,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The head of state remarked that Belarus had always been doing everything for the sake of peace in Ukraine. But the neighboring country acted differently in response: it trained militants ahead of the latest presidential election in Belarus. Then radicals and weapons were smuggled into Belarus. “More than one person has been apprehended,” the president remarked.
Later on Ukrainians started enforcing sanctions against Belarus even sooner than Americans and Europeans did. “Why? It was actually the second side we'd been trading with. Russia was the first one and Ukraine was the second one,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained. “And we have multiple facts like that before the conflict with Russia. I wonder why they had to strain relations with Belarus and provoke Russia. They got what they wanted.”