President Alexander Lukashenko tells Ukraine, West to not ‘cross purple traces’ drawn by ally, Russia.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, days after reigniting issues he might commit his military to assist Russian forces in Ukraine, has warned towards forcing his key ally “right into a nook”, saying Russia has nuclear weapons for a motive.
In extracts of an interview with United States-based broadcaster NBC that have been launched on Friday by Belarus’s state information company, Lukashenko stated, “Crucial factor is, don’t drive your interlocutor and even your opponent right into a nook. So that you mustn’t cross these traces – these purple traces, because the Russians say. You’ll be able to’t cross them.”
In current weeks, there was rising concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin could resort to nuclear weapons since a collection of defeats for his forces in Ukraine swung the momentum of the conflict in Kyiv’s favour.
“As for nuclear weapons, any weapon is a weapon created for one thing,” Lukashenko, who has dominated Belarus since 1994, was quoted as saying.
“Russia has clearly outlined its place: God forbid there might be an assault on the territory of the Russian Federation; in that occasion, Russia can use all sorts of weapons if essential,” he added.
Lukashenko has no say in Putin’s army selections however his feedback served to underline the heightened tensions because the war nears the end of its eighth month.
Final month, Putin unilaterally proclaimed four Ukrainian regions as a part of Russia, a transfer overwhelmingly condemned this week by the United Nations General Assembly, and has stated he’ll defend Russia’s “territorial integrity” by all means, together with nuclear weapons if essential.
Lukashenko stated individually he had positioned Belarus in what he referred to as a state of heightened “terrorism” alert due to tensions on its borders.
He linked that transfer to his announcement on Monday that he had ordered Belarusian troops to deploy with Russian forces close to Belarus’s southern border with Ukraine.
Belarus depends financially and politically on its key ally Russia. In late February, Lukashenko allowed Russia to make use of his nation’s territory as one of many launchpads for its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Its newest troop actions have raised concern in Kyiv and the West that Lukashenko could also be about to ship Belarusian troops to again Russia’s faltering conflict effort.
Political analysts have stated that’s an unappealing possibility for him however that he might not be ready to refuse if Putin calls for it.
The Russian president’s assist helped Lukashenko survive mass pro-democracy protests in 2020. Lukashenko crushed the demonstrations and all main opposition figures have been jailed or pressured to flee overseas.
Lukashenko additionally claimed this week that Ukraine was plotting to assault Belarus, cautioning it towards assaulting “even one metre of our territory with their soiled arms”. His defence minister, Viktor Khrenin, additionally warned Ukraine to not provoke Belarus, saying, “We don’t wish to battle” and stressing a day later, nonetheless, that the joint power is for defence.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded by saying his nation was not planning army actions towards Belarus and accused Russia of “attempting to instantly draw Belarus into this conflict”.