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20 November 2021, 21:17

Lukashenko to BBC reporter: Some Matthew or you could have been shot there

MINSK, 20 November (BelTA) – The Belarusian side did not supply refugees with special ammunition so that they could use it against Polish soldiers near the Belarusian border checkpoint Bruzgi. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement in an interview with the BBC on 19 November, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Why did they shoot into our territory? Do you know that even turning weapons towards the neighboring territory is forbidden? Why didn't you write about it? Why did you pour water with toxic chemicals for 100 meters deep into our territory? [Polish military personnel used special gear and ammunition against refugees, including pregnant women and children]. It is a violation of the state border. I am telling you that as a guardsman. I was stationed at that border back in the day. I know every meter over there. You at least violated the state border. You threw flashbangs into our territory. And we were accused of supplying the refugees so that they could throw grenades. A Polish soldier took a grenade and didn't know how to handle it properly, so it blew up at his feet. And you blamed Belarusians.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that in turn Belarus had taken measures to prevent weapons and ammunition from reaching the refugee camp at the border: “If I didn't control this camp, there would have been weapons over there a long time ago. Weapons are being smuggled here from Donbass via Ukraine. If you don't know it, then listen to me.”

The head of state also did not rule out the possibility that lives could have been threatened if provocations had been staged, including lives of foreign reporters. It is commonly known that the Belarusian side allows any reporters to go to the border in order to cover the refugee situation while Poland has imposed an information blockade. “I cannot rule out the possibility that they could have shot some Matthew [CNN reporter Matthew Chance] or you [BBC reporter Steven Rosenberg]. What for? In order to later accuse Lukashenko of it, to put the blame for it on him,” the Belarusian leader added.

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