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West wants to drag Belarus into military conflict – Lukashenko

The situation along the country’s borders with NATO and Ukraine is “very serious,” Alexander Lukashenko has warned

Western countries “can’t wait” to drag Belarus into their “military squabbles,” Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said, commenting on recent reports of Ukrainian and NATO forces massing along the borders of the country, which is a key Russian ally.

Lukashenko made the remarks during a meeting with Russia’s top MP, Vyacheslav Volodin. The chair of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament is visiting Minsk for the celebration of Belarusian Independence Day on July 3.

”I think you… see what is going on around Belarus. They just can’t wait to drag us into their military squabbles. [They are doing it] in order to make us stretch [our forces] along the border, to make us unable to put up resistance, and to escalate the situation to the point where the whole world will tremble,” Lukashenko said, as quoted by BELTA news agency.

Over the weekend, the Belarusian Defense Ministry issued several statements claiming that Ukraine and NATO countries were gathering troops along the country’s frontiers. Belarus borders NATO members Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, as well as Ukraine and Russia.

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A Belarusian paratrooper making up units of the special operations forces stands guard at a road checkpoint near the border with Ukraine in Gomel region, Belarus.
Moscow reacts to Ukrainian troops on its ally’s border

According to Belarusian Chief of General Staff Pavel Muraveiko, there are 20,000 NATO soldiers stationed “near” the nation’s borders, including US troops. Those forces are acting as an “irritant” for the country’s military, he said.

On Saturday, the deputy commander of Belarusian special operations forces, Colonel Vadim Lukashevich, claimed tension was increasing along the border between Belarus and Ukraine, and that Kiev was amassing troops, armored vehicles, and missile systems on the 1,000km frontier with its northern neighbor.

The situation is “very serious,” and Minsk must remain on guard, President Lukashenko said.

Belarus is Russia’s close ally, and Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses the situation relating to Ukraine with his counterpart on a regular basis.

While Belarus is not directly involved in the conflict, it allowed Moscow to use its territory for a thrust towards Kiev in the early days of the military operation.

READ MORE: Belarusian region bordering Ukraine ready for ‘wartime’ – Minsk

Russia and Belarus held joint non-strategic nuclear force exercises earlier this month. The drills were held in response to the West’s continued escalatory actions in Europe, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who stressed it was important that Russia maintain its combat readiness.

Last year, Moscow placed tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus at Minsk’s request. According to Moscow’s new military doctrine adopted in April, the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil serves as a strategic deterrent.

July 02, 2024 at 05:59PM

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