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Lukashenko Says 'Harassment of Belarusians' in Ukraine Could Push Minsk Toward a Special Op

© Sputnik / Valery Sharifulin / Go to the mediabankPresident of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.02.2022
Earlier, a Russian delegation had arrived in Belarus for negotiations with the Ukrainians, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that Minsk has prepared everything necessary for talks between the sides in Gomel.
President Alexander Lukashenko has said that the "harassment of Belarusians" in Ukraine could prompt Minsk towards undertaking a "special operation".
Lukashenko, who emphasised that there were no Belarusian soldiers or armaments in Ukraine, as Russia did not require such assistance for its “special operation” there, aimed at "protecting the people" of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics from the "genocide" waged by the Ukrainian authorities, said that Belarusians were being caught on the territory of that country and subjected to beatings.
Such incidents trigger outrage and may prompt Minsk to launch a “special operation” to release its citizens, said Alexander Lukashenko.
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The Belarusian president stressed that rockets are not flying from the territory of his country towards Ukraine. Instead, weapons were smuggled into Belarus from Ukraine as gangs had geared up for provocations in the republic. Lukashenko stated that a defence plan for his country had already been developed, and necessary weaponry would shortly be transferred to the republic from Russia.
The Belarusian president urged Kiev to sit down at the negotiating table with Russia unless it wanted to lose its statehood. Lukashenko said that so far he would characterise what was taking place in Ukraine as a “conflict.”
“In a day or two, there will be a war raging, and in three days – a bloodbath,” he told journalists on Sunday.
The role of Minsk in Moscow's ongoing special operation in Ukraine is to prevent Russian troops from being “stabbed in the back”, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Sunday.
“… The Americans, having drawn Ukraine into the war against Russia, want to solve the Belarusian issue at the same time. It won’t work. We are not that stupid. And in this operation our role is - I said this already on the second day of the conflict – to ensure that Russians would not be “stabbed in the back” from the north and west. This is our task, and we will not allow this," Lukashenka told reporters.
He denounced the sanctions slapped on the Russian Federation in connection with events in Ukraine, saying that by doing so the West was pushing Russia towards a Third World War. Leading Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, have been targeted by the sanctions, as well as several major banks and companies.
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Kiev Backtracks on Peace Talks in Gomel After Russian Delegation Arrives in Belarus
Russia and its allies from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (LPR, DPR) launched a special military operation in Ukraine on Thursday aimed at "demilitarising and denazifying" the country following the escalation of attacks on the two breakaway regions and after they asked for protection from "genocide" waged by Kiev.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks on the phone during a meeting with the Ukraine's Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.02.2022
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Ahead of that, on 21 February, Moscow recognised the independence of LPR and DPR.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised that Moscow has no intention of occupying Ukraine, while the Russian Defence Ministry said that there is no threat to the civilian population, as it is conducting precision strikes on military infrastructure - air defence facilities, military airfields, and air forces.
Kiev rejected talks in the Belarusian city of Gomel after the Russian delegation arrived at the venue for negotiations with the Ukrainians on Sunday.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, it was Kiev that proposed Gomel as a place for negotiations with Russia. As Peskov announced that the Russian delegation, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and other departments, including the presidential administration, had arrived in Belarus for negotiations with the Ukrainians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky published a video address on his Telegram channel. Zelensky stated that Kiev was rejecting Belarus as a platform for talks, claiming that missiles are being launched from the territory of the republic into Ukraine.
He also suggested a number of other cities where the Ukrainian side would be ready to meet, including Warsaw, Istanbul and Baku, among others.
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