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Wields that this is a “limited” involvement, to avoid national security risks
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has openly confirmed that his government does participate in the military offensive launched by Russia on Ukraine, after months in which he has been at pains to qualify his degree of involvement in the invasion ordered in February by his ally Vladimir Putin.
Lukashenko has gathered on Tuesday the Belarusian security leadership to analyze “the changing military and political situation” in the region. The president stressed that “there is no emergency” affecting Belarus, but he did make it clear that he is on Russia’s side in what he also described as a “special military operation”.
“We participate in it. We do not hide it. But we have not killed anyone, we have not sent military anywhere,” argued Lukashenko, who alluded to a “limited” involvement, only to “prevent the conflict from spreading to Belarusian territory” or to prevent a possible attack from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, reports BelTA agency.
According to Lukashenko, Ukrainian troops have 15,000 troops on the border and have surveillance equipment that sometimes violates Belarusian airspace. “They are supposedly very worried about Belarus’ entry into the war and at the same time continue provocations on the border,” he has pointed out.
The Belarusian leader also widened the focus to reproach “Western politicians” for their “cynical” statements about Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, which he frames as part of efforts to counter Moscow’s alleged weight on the international scene.
In this sense, he has accused the United States of trying to get rid of Russia and its allies to focus on China and, at the same time, of seeking to make the EU “more dependent.” In fact, he predicted that “the United States will destroy the European Union”.
The role played by Belarus in the Ukrainian conflict has been a source of constant debate since the very beginning of the invasion, insofar as it served to launch attacks that, at first, even aspired to facilitate advances on the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
Lukashenko has ruled out that he plans to decree a mobilization like the one announced by Putin, to reinforce the Armed Forces, but Ukrainian intelligence suspects that he could make use of Russian reservists to improve his defense capabilities. Specifically, it could deploy up to 20,000 troops, according to the UNIAN agency.
Following these statements, Belarusian oppositionist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who proclaimed herself the country’s “national leader” in February after accusing Lukashenko of committing “treason” by participating in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has pointed out that one should not be fooled by the president’s words.
“Today Lukashenko said what we already know: that the murderous regime of Belarus is participating in the war against Ukraine. But he assured that ‘they do not kill anyone’. Let us not be deceived. The blood of thousands of innocent Ukrainians, and also of many Belarusians, is on their hands,” he specified on his official Twitter profile.
Tikhanovskaya, who proclaimed herself “national leader” to “protect the sovereignty and independence of the country and represent it in regional security negotiations”, has been based in Lithuania since the crisis began following the August 2020 elections, fraudulent in the eyes of the EU.