Belarus doesn't want war – Lukashenko
There won’t be a war involving Belarus unless other nations want to fight against it, the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, told journalists on Friday. The remarks came amid allegations that Belarusian troops could join Russia in its military campaign in Ukraine.
“Don’t pay attention to this howling,” the country’s state media outlet Belta quoted Lukashenko as saying during a visit to a military training ground in Belarus’ westernmost Brest region.
“We’re not going to go anywhere today. No war at present. We don’t need it,” he added.
He also urged his compatriots to “calm down” and carry on with their usual activities “unless we want war.”
The Belarusian head of state also played down the likelihood of World War III breaking out in the near future, as such a conflict would most likely mean the “annihilation of all and everyone.” However, he also warned that the world had come “closer than ever before.”
Last Friday, Lukashenko announced the deployment of a joint Russian-Belarusian contingent in the country. He cited “heightened tensions” on the country’s borders as the reason for the move, adding that his troops would comprise the core of the group.
On Monday, Valery Revenko, an aide to the Belarusian defense minister, revealed on Twitter that several thousand Russian military personnel along with 170 tanks, up to 200 armored vehicles, and up to 100 artillery guns would be deployed to the country.
The official explained that the creation of the allied force had come in response to the “deployment of NATO forces near [their] borders amid a lack of dialogue.”
Earlier this month, the country’s government accused Kiev of planning and preparing an attack which would entail the “seizure of certain areas of the Belarusian territory.”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky vehemently rejected Minsk’s claims, alleging that it was in fact Belarus that might attack Ukraine.
Zelensky also called on the G7 countries to send “international observers” to the border between the two nations to prevent any provocation.