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24 February 2022, 12:22

Lukashenko specifies conditions for Russia-Ukraine negotiations

MINSK, 24 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has specified under what conditions Russia-Ukraine negotiations may begin. He made the statement at an operational meeting with the military on 24 February, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is necessary to start negotiations in order to prevent this [bloodshed] in Ukraine and stop the escalation but Russia will never begin negotiations with them if the matters that will be discussed are not reconciled in advance. Russia has specified them for NATO, for America, and for Ukraine. Five or six matters. Two or three matters concerning Ukraine. First, Ukraine's demilitarization, prevention of Ukraine's accession to NATO, and the cessation of hostilities against Donetsk and Lugansk. Other matters may be added, too.”

But talking about the matters will not suffice. Concrete decisions have to be drafted, the head of state stressed. “Yes, they will be harsher towards Ukraine. There is no other way today if you are losing. Certainly, the winner will dictate something to you. But let's be realistic: certainly, something may be dictated but it will be much better than Ukraine's losing the war,” Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested holding the relevant negotiations in Minsk: “We are Slavs, three Slavonic nations. Let's sit down and decide our fate for the future, once for all. What is the basis for that? If I were Zelenskyy, I'd grab the opportunity. Putin stated (well done, I commended him for it in a conversation): ‘We are not occupants, we are not going to occupy Ukraine.' What else do you need? It is the basis of negotiations. He truly does not intend to occupy [Ukraine]. Who would need this headache? Nobody is going to install their own forces and governments over there. It is the basis of negotiations. Let's work out the agenda and decisions based on that.”

The head of state is convinced it is the only chance to stop escalation and avoid a murderous war. “It may be quite real to stop this conflict, resolve all the issues. They may hear me. We will not act as mediators, we don't want any mediation: this war is already in our place,” the president stressed.

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