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12 April 2024, 15:43

Lukashenko: No need for Belarus to participate in hostilities now or ever

MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) - There is no need for Belarus to participate in the hostilities today or ever, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a media scrum in the Kremlin, BelTA has learned. 

"Since the peace talks [on the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine] have not yet begun, how do you see the likelihood of Belarus having to join the hostilities?" the journalists asked the head of state.

"I don't see it. There is no such need today or ever. I once said that Russia needs the peaceful, quiet, calm Belarus that does its job. I won't tell you in detail what we do and so on. We are ‘co-aggressors’, right?” the president said. “Everyone does their own thing. But I say it bluntly: neither I nor Putin (we discussed this problem yesterday) want the fraternal Ukrainian people to suffer. We don't want to!" 

In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko touched on Russia's strikes on energy facilities in Ukraine, noting that this measure was a response to the attacks from the Ukrainian side. 

"Ukrainians should understand that if they target facilities such as oil refineries with their drones, the response will come instantly, but 10 times harder. Well, why provoke and fan this fire? Why do you need it? At the same time, they talk about some kind of peace talks and a conference in Switzerland. Without Russia, they want to ensure peace in Ukraine. Or without China. China is not going to send its representatives there either. Do these peace talks make sense then?" the president said. 

Returning to the issue of Belarus' joining the hostilities, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Russia’s “flag-wavers", as they are called in the Russian media, call for this sometimes. "These calls urging Belarus to enter the war in Ukraine play into the hands of NATO. They are doing everything to drag us into a war with Ukraine," he stressed.

The president explained that in this case, considering the border of Belarus with Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries, the length of the front will increase by thousands of kilometers: "We will have to hold this front if we enter the war. Can we do it? We can't. I'm telling you: we can't. Do we want trouble for ourselves? We don't want to. That's the second thing. But what’s the most important thing is that not only Russia might need the peaceful Belarus. Maybe Ukraine will need too.”

Belarus provides security on the borders in the Ukrainian and western directions.

“Half the country is within a radius of 100 kilometers from Kiev, including Mozyr Oil Refinery, which, fortunately, operates without interruptions. You use the fuel that the refinery produces. Your and our self-exiled opposition (I have been recently briefed) are encouraging Poles and others to target Mozyr Oil Refinery. They say: ‘It supplies fuel to the aggressor for military needs, among other things, which makes it a legitimate target’,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I told my military to deploy everything we have there to make sure our response will make them regret their decisions.”

“If we were to join the hostilities, it wouldn’t change anything. They barricaded the border with Belarus up to rafters. Ukraine mined it and deployed 120,000 soldiers. Ukraine wants to send these troops to the front line and replace them with French troops. We are looking forward to seeing the French defend Ukraine. It is a complete joke! It's cheap talk. France will not send troops to defend Ukraine. They are trying to intimidate Putin and me. There is no need for Belarus to join the hostilities. Such statements are part of the same story about Putin and Lukashenko’s intentions to invade Europe (Poland and the Baltics, for starters). This is utter nonsense. Putin said yesterday that it is a complete lie. We have never discussed this issue,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that U.S. and German battalion tactical groups had been deployed in Poland and Lithuania near the Belarusian border. Belarus was forced to deploy its units in response.

“We are standing face to face there. It would be the easiest thing for Belarus to join the hostilities. But Russia does not need it. It is important to sort things out at the front line,” the head of state said.
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