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24 February 2022, 15:17

Lukashenko on how Russia's demands for security guarantees concern Belarus

MINSK, 24 February (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko was asked by BelTA on how Russia's demands for security guarantees concern Belarus.

"You must understand, and our people must understand: the things that Russia demands [from the West in terms of security guarantees], this primarily concerns us. If suddenly Ukraine becomes a NATO hotbed against Russia, then, as I said to Putin tonight, they will start with us. It is us who will be their first target. If they succeed, then they will switch to Russia. Should they want to launch a rocket, they will first direct it to Minsk, and then from Kharkov or other place to Moscow. Therefore, our people should understand that everything that Russia demands in terms of security guarantees, this primarily concerns us," the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: "Imagine that tomorrow there is no Russia, that it has been defeated, collapsed and so on. Who will be next? Belarus will disappear instantly. No ‘balcony', nothing. The next day they will attack us from all sides.”

“There will be no this group of forces, that we have developed within the Union State, (the Belarusian army) here plus the western units, nor the Russian one near Moscow. Today, it is vital to preserve Russia, this powerful country, rich in resources. It is in our interests,” the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state addressed those who might think that ‘it is not ours': “It is not ours, they [Russians] are not our brothers, Russia is not our kin folk, and so on. Then we should understand that we have to work and live like they do in Ukraine: to buy natural gas at $1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters, oil, including refining, the market...”

One of the questions was related to the NATO's military build-up at the western borders of Belarus and the country's plans to reinforce those borders. “Those 1,000 Americans that have been deployed to the Polish-Belarusian border are nothing to worry about. We will deal with them within two or three hours. The most important thing is that we will face the United States. If we take just one American soldier down, we will have to deal with the United States. Then the conflict will be not with 1,000 soldiers, but with a technologically advanced military machine, the most powerful state. This is where the danger lies,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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