MINSK, 21 July (BelTA) – The war in Ukraine began a long time before Russia's special military operation. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in an interview with the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Russia is blamed for what has happened to Ukraine since Russia was the first country to start combat operations. But the head of state pointed out that these events are evaluated outside context.
“If we talk about consecutiveness, then I should say that you are absolutely not consequential. You've taken it out of context and evaluated it. Things didn't start with that,” he stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that the Minsk agreements were signed in the Belarusian capital city in 2015 after lengthy talks of the Normandy Four. The Minsk agreements were kind of a peace treaty. “The negotiations lasted for nearly 24 hours when representatives of leading European Union countries arrived,” he noted. “Poroshenko signed the agreement before my eyes – a sacred thing. If Ukrainian authorities had executed this agreement, there would be no war today. And Donbass and Lugansk could possibly be part of Ukraine already. And I am convinced they would be.”
A coup – the so-called euromaidan – happened in Ukraine a year later. “You supported it. You financed it. Primarily Americans did. As always you followed the lead of Americans. It has already been proven. You deposed the then president,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. “You supported this insurrection and put your own people in positions of power. And brouhaha began. Elections were messed up. Everything began there.”
In his words, the West artificially inflated tensions around the Russian-Ukrainian conflict all these years. To start a war against Russia from Ukraine's territory was the goal. “You also wanted to break Belarus in 2020 in order to build this belt from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea and stand at Moscow's threshold already. If Belarus had been broken back then, NATO troops would be near Smolensk already,” the president stated. “These ‘authorities', representatives are in your countries: [the former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana] Tikhanovskaya and other ones. Tikhanovskaya is a little girl, she doesn't decide anything. We know who stands behind her and who pulls the strings. You stand behind her and control her – Americans and the European Union. If we had not prevailed here in 2020, things in Belarus would be even worse than in Ukraine. We endured.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that before the launch of the special military operation Russia had repeatedly contacted the West with a request to provide security guarantees and make promises. “Why didn't you provide such guarantees? It means you wanted a war,” he concluded.
A Belarusian-Russian army exercise was about to end in Belarus simultaneously with those events and Russian troops were already leaving Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. But Ukraine deployed a number of army units near the Belarusian border then. “And they had Russian assets, which participated in the exercise, in their sights. And Belarusian ones, too. The first thing that happened: Russians used their assets to hit those four sites from Belarus' territory. Ukrainians don't deny it. The operation began with it,” he noted.