Lukashenko says Russia 'must be ready' to use nuclear arsenal
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Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday that if Belarus were to come under “attack”, its army would respond immediately. The West has speculated over the level of involvement of Belarus in Russia’s ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine since late February.
Lukashenko said his state stood fully behind Russia in its invasion as part of its commitment to a “union state” with Moscow.
But he has previously suggested his own armed forces will not themselves enter Ukraine, pointing to Minsk’s potential role of helping to create a peace deal instead.
The Belarusian President was, however, clear that his country would not tolerate attacks from Western countries.
He said: “Less than a month ago, I gave orders to the units of the armed forces to target what can now be called the decision-making centres in capitals…
“Don’t touch us – and we won’t touch you.”
Lukashenko also drew attention to reports of Ukraine attempting to fire on Belarus.
He claimed: “We are being provoked.
“About three days ago, maybe more, an attempt was made from Ukraine to attack military targets in Belarus.
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“Thank God our tank air defence systems intercepted all missiles.”
The claim has not been confirmed.
Other reports suggest that Belarus has itself fired missiles into Ukraine.
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Putin also recently promised his Belarusian counterpart new missiles.
It is understood these will be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Many of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West since the beginning of the Ukraine war have also been slapped onto Belarus.
This, according to Putin, has sped up the process of Russian-Belarusian unification.
Lukashenko has, however, suggested he is doing all that he can to bring the war to an end.
In May, he said: “We categorically do not accept any war. We have done and are doing everything now so that there isn’t a war.
“Thanks to yours truly, me that is, negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have begun.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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