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1 Dec, 2022 16:11

Situation around Belarusian border is 'tense' – Lukashenko

Leader claims his security services have deterred potential enemy attacks
Situation around Belarusian border is 'tense' – Lukashenko

The situation around Belarus’ border is “tense”, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said. The country shares frontiers with NATO members Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, along with Russia and war-torn Ukraine.

The country’s security agencies have registered an increase in the number of "provocations," he told a government meeting on defense issues on Thursday.

“Ukraine is trying to use any pretext to draw troops from NATO member states into the conflict” with Russia, he said. 

The president pointed to an incident in the Polish village of Przewodow last month, where two people were killed by a missile that had crossed from Ukraine. Kiev and some media outlets immediately claimed that the projectile had been fired by Russian forces, but officials from Poland, the US and EU soon said it was most likely a Ukrainian air-defense missile.

Lukashenko also noted that some members of the Belarusian opposition, who had fled abroad, have been advocating a forceful regime change in the country, with some “extremists” among them even “openly calling for strikes at facilities inside our country.”

“They’ve forgotten that their own relatives reside in Belarusian territory,” he said.

He said Western states are continuing to build up their military presence in countries neighboring Belarus and increasing the intensity of their combat-training activities there.

All those developments lead to “an aggravation of the already tense military-political situation around our country and in the region as a whole,” he warned.

“So far we have been able to deter a potential adversary from using military force against Belarus,” the president said, adding that the country has to remain vigilant, “not to miss … signs that would indicate preparations for an aggression against our country.”

Belarus, an ally of Russia, has long been expressing concerns about what it sees as the threats emanating from the West and Ukraine. Belarusian troops aren’t taking part in the Ukrainian conflict, with Minsk saying that it has no aggressive intentions regarding its neighbor. However, Belarus has stressed its readiness to defend itself in the event of an attack.