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Opinions & Interviews

26 Sep 2019

Zero military threat from Belarus for Ukraine stressed

Zero military threat from Belarus for Ukraine stressed

MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – Belarus represents absolutely no military threat for Ukraine. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the meeting with representatives of Ukrainian mass media on 26 September, BelTA has learned.

The reporters asked whether Belarusian army units may ever team up with Russia’s Armed Forces to invade Ukraine. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “Belarusian army units may be deployed in Donbass only when I make the decision. I am the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. We have an absolutely mobile, well-armed army fit for modern combat. And most importantly, it is disciplined. It cannot stray from the state policy.”

“They may appear there only when the commander-in-chief tells them to,” the head of state continued. “I’ve explained my stance on the war in the east [of Ukraine] without going into certain details. As for participation in combat operations killing your soldiers, it will not happen as long as I am the president of Belarus. Don’t expect nasty things from us.”

The head of state once again pointed out the friendly nature of bilateral relations. “We cannot be enemies to your people. Our entire leadership and I as the president have one thousand times more power than your president. I will never go for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Belarus’ principled stance is even stipulated by the defensive doctrine. “We are working on the doctrine together with the parliament and municipal government agencies. We will pass a new defensive doctrine in November because the old one will expire in 2020. If you want, we will forward a copy to you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested.

Aleksandr Lukashenko once again underlined that Belarus and Russia do not have a joint army. “The Union State of Belarus and Russia has a joint military taskforce in the western direction with the Belarusian army at its core – 75,000 people. We are reducing it maybe down to 50,000. It will be enough for us. We just need it to be well-armed and mobile in order to carry out defensive operations in Belarus’ territory if we ever need it. Let’s hope we never do,” the Belarusian leader explained.

Apart from that, Russia is not interested in seeing Belarus involved in an armed conflict either. “Russia doesn’t want us involved in a fight,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The head of state said he doubts Russia intends to capture Ukraine by force of arms. “In order to capture Ukraine, they had to act yesterday when there was a brief situation with Crimea. It would be more difficult to accomplish it now. And they cannot resolve this problem on their own, without our assistance. But let me tell you right away it will be very difficult to accomplish now. Not only because the Ukrainian army has become stronger. Because a lot of global players have become involved. This is why an attempt by Russia, by Belarus, or someone else to capture Ukraine will be met with an immediate response. Primarily from NATO. Because they will feel a serious threat for them.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko had a few words to say about mass media speculations about allegedly ongoing Russia-USA quid pro quo talks concerning Ukraine and Venezuela. “Once Trump and Putin go for such an exchange, they will lose Ukraine and Venezuela right away. Ukraine will never agree to it,” the Belarusian leader said. “Ukraine will even stop looking in Trump’s direction if he dares do it. These speculations are only attempts to sound out the public opinion.”

“I am absolutely convinced that Russia will never take the liberty of capturing Ukraine unless of course you start a war,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“Don’t worry. Don’t you ever worry about Belarus. We will not create additional tensions or problems for Russia. Russia has enough of those as it is. We will not create problems for Russia in relations with Ukraine although it is difficult. And you will never feel you have problems with us due to Russia. I can promise you that. And not only me. There will be someone after me. He will not walk this road because it is so well-paved and well-built that it is impossible to steer away from it, it is part and parcel of our relations,” the head of state summed up.

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