Lukashenko warns Belarus ‘ready to fight’ with Russia in Ukraine if attacked
Moscow, Feb 16 (EFE).- Belarus is prepared to send troops to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine, Belarussian president Aleksandr Lukashenko said Thursday, if his country comes under attack.
Belarus is a key ally for Russia, having allowed Russian troops to use the country as a staging ground for their invasion of Ukraine a year ago.
“I am ready to fight together with the Russians from the territory of Belarus only in one case: if at least one soldier sets foot in Belarus to kill my people,” Lukashenko told a small group of foreign and Belarusian journalists in Minsk.
He also warned that “if they commit aggression against Belarus, the answer will be immediate. The war will acquire a completely different scale then.”
The Belarusian president, who has been in power since 1994, launched a brutal crackdown after a wave of protests in 2020 triggered by his landslide victory in elections, which opponents and Western powers say were fraudulent.
Lukashenko is due to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday, to discuss military, security and economic issues, official sources from both countries confirmed.
The previous meeting between the two came in late December 2022 amid fears of another possible Russian offensive against Ukraine from Belarusian territory. EFE