MINSK, 1 June (BelTA) – The war in Ukraine started long before 2014, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with participants of the 52nd meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services in Minsk on 1 June, BelTA has learned.
“I absolutely agree with President Putin's words that it was not us who started this war. It started long before 2014. With that coup that took place then, we saw where Ukraine was led. We saw who was in the forefront,” the head of state said.
The president also cited the example of Russia, where since 2014 there had been many “specialists” calling for actions to protect the Russian man in Donbass. “After all, they were pushing for this in the first place. There were such “specialists” here, too. Well, we did what you asked for. Where have these “specialists” gone now? Some of them ran through the Lachin corridor, others through Belarus, but thanks God, we and Russia have strict rules... They have started criticizing the leadership of Russia - some from Israel, some from Georgia. Why are you criticizing? Yesterday you were ardent supporters of the operation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Just imagine if Mexicans started mistreating U.S. citizens in Mexico? Mexico would have simply ceased to exist,” the president added.
The head of state stressed that the Ukrainian authorities had many options to use to ensure their people live peacefully in all of Ukraine. “But neither former [presidents] Yanukovich, Poroshenko, nor the current [president] Zelensky took advantage of any of them. Why didn't they have a try? Did they want a war? No, they didn't. They were just pushed to it by those who found their weak points to put pressure,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state expressed confidence that if it had not begun just over a year ago, it would have started tomorrow, but with worse conditions for Russia and Belarus. “We saw this coming. The only mistake we made, probably, is that we didn't resolve this issue in 2014-2015, when Ukraine had no army. We wanted to settle it peacefully. They, however, used this time to develop combat-ready armed forces,” the president said. This intention had already been confirmed by the participants of the then peace talks, including former French President Francois Hollande. “They frankly admitted that they were doing everything to prepare Ukraine for war with Russia,” the Belarusian leader said.
Addressing representatives of the security and special services of the CIS countries, the president said: “We should all calm down. I just ask you to influence the policy inside your countries so that we do not separate. This can be very dangerous.”