State Dept Claims Belarus Could Play Role in Russia's Alleged Plans to Invade Ukraine

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonState Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a media briefing at the State Department, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Washington.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price speaks during a media briefing at the State Department, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Washington. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Belarus could play a role in the Russian plans to invade Ukraine amid rising tensions between Moscow and Kiev, a senior US State Department official said.
“Information we've seen indicates Belarus could play a role in Russia's plan to phase in Ukraine,” the official said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

The official did not specify what kind of information the United States has on the issue of Belarus allegedly playing a role.
He also alleged that proposed changes to the Belarusian constitution indicate Minsk may allow Russian conventional and nuclear weapons to be stationed on its territory, though he did not disclose which articles of the planned changes to the constitution of Belarus indicate that Russian weapons can be placed in the country.
The US will monitor the situation with the constitutional amendments in Belarus as regards changing its fundamental approach to housing weapons of foreign countries on its territory, the official added.
In this image released by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry Press Service, Ukrainian soldiers use a launcher with US Javelin missiles during military exercises in the Donetsk Region, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
US Will Provide Ukraine With Even More 'Defensive Material' if Situation Escalates, State Dept Says
In recent months, Russia has been accused of building up troops near the Ukrainian border and allegedly planning an invasion - a claim repeatedly dismissed by Moscow. Russia has pointed to NATO's military activity near its that it considers a threat to its national security.
The United States and NATO held consultations with Russia earlier in January to discuss the Moscow-proposed agreements on mutual security guarantees in Europe. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, urged the latter not to replicate speculation about the allegedly impending "Russian aggression" against Kiev.
On Monday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus said that it would conduct a surprise inspection of forces and the means of reaction of the Union State together with Russia.
According to the Belarusian military, the first stage of the tests will last until February 9 after which the two countries will hold joint military drills that will last from February 10-20, during which the military will practice strengthening sections of the state border.
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