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Opinions & Interviews

28 Mar 2014

Belarus president dispels fears of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia

Belarus president dispels fears of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia
MINSK, 28 March (BelTA) – Do not demonize President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader has no plans of capturing Ukraine. The statement was made by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview for the Ukrainian TV show Shuster Live on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

“Don’t demonize him. He is no demon and not an aggressor at all. He understands perfectly well that if he starts with the Dnieper River and goes all the way to Western Ukraine and makes the territory part of Russia the way it seems it was in some day, it will be extreme. It is totally impossible and he understands it and knows how he will be viewed after that. He has never shown the least inclination to act like that,” stated Alexander Lukashenko.

“He just wants things to be calm. We have talked openly as friends many times. Nazarbayev was also present. We discussed these matters, he was very concerned that NATO tanks may be stationed in Ukraine’s east, he would like Ukraine to stay out of political blocs. He would very much like Ukraine to stay whole. He would like it even more if Ukraine joined the Customs Union, it would be his accomplishment, it would be fair. He doesn’t think about invasion and the rest,” the Belarus President was convinced. “Because his invasion may set the entire Europe, the entire world ablaze and trigger a world war. He understands it perfectly well. He has never had these goals. His reasoning is focused on protecting Russian speakers in Ukraine. It is something I know precisely”.

“No, nobody was beaten over there. While I understood what was going on, I was afraid that bloodshed may begin. If not bloodshed, then some illegal actions to humiliate the Russian-speaking population. Maybe it was due to mass media influence,” noted the Belarusian leader. “Although I was getting information not only from mass media”.

“No. President Putin has no intention of doing more than that. He said there is some limit, a red line that cannot be crossed. You have to understand that Russia has been humiliated to an extent it could not but respond. It would have been death for an empire like the Russian one otherwise,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.

“When someone starts beating, killing, and cutting Russian people, like many thought (and it is the way the public in Russia viewed the events and Putin did the same), was he supposed to keep quiet about it?” asked the Belarus President.

“Russian speakers, Russian citizens, and Belarusian citizens have been labeled non-citizens in the Baltic states and some other well-known countries. Poland’s behavior is very bad, like America’s retainer. Russia tolerates it so do we. We face pressure at every turn where it is necessary and where it is not. Syria and so on. We tolerate it. Pressure regarding Iran goes full throttle. Russia tolerates it. But when someone takes a knife and threatens to kill your own brother? Do you wait and do nothing? Russia had to respond,” said the President.

“I don’t say there was a knife. But the situation starting with Russian language and so on developed in a way we understood maybe not entirely correctly as people in Ukraine understood it. But it is the way Putin and the Russians understood it,” remarked Alexander Lukashenko. “Our understanding may be wrong. But you gave a reason to view it like that”.

The Belarus President agreed that the majority of the general public in Ukraine understands the situation as an infringement upon their territory and sovereignty. “Further advancement in this regard would constitute an aggression. It is what all the Ukrainians will think. In no way should we use force in Ukraine. I absolutely don’t like what is going on in the east. The situation over there should be calmed down instead of agitated,” believes Alexander Lukashenko.
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