Ukraine says Belarus not willing to fight alongside Russia
Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 24 (EFE).- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Thursday said the Belarusian army was not ready and willing to fight alongside the Russian forces in Ukraine.
“We have communicated, very simply and clearly, to the Belarusian side that if their armed forces entered the territory of Ukraine, start any hostilities, they will be ruthlessly destroyed, just as the Russian army is being destroyed,” said Kuleba in a televised statement.
News agency Ukrinform said the foreign minister was addressing the Ukrainian people on the first month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on this day in February.
“I think the last thing that should be of interest to Belarusians is that their children, brothers, and husbands could die here for some absurd ideas of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Belarusian President) Alexander Lukashenko.”
Citing unnamed sources, Kuleba said he had the information that “the Belarusian army does not want and is not ready to fight against Ukraine.”
The news agency, quoting defense ministry sources, said Russia was trying to persuade the Belarusian military to join it in the war against Ukraine and offered $1,000-1,500 a month.
The Ukrainian military said Wednesday that Russian and Belarusian armies might be amassing war equipment along the border with Ukraine.
“Based on the available information, Russian and Belarusian military equipment is being actively moved across the territory of the Republic of Belarus, and further accumulated along the Ukrainian border,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post, adding that it was to be confirmed.
Belarus also ordered an unspecified number of Ukrainian diplomats to leave the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk and closed Ukraine’s Consulate General in the western city of Brest. EFE