Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday that his army had intercepted missiles launched by Ukraine into Belarus, as speculation about Minsk’s growing involvement in the Kiev-Moscow conflict ran.
“We are provoking ourselves … I must inform you that three days ago, perhaps more, they tried from Ukraine to hit military targets in Belarus. Thank God, all missiles launched by Pantsir anti-aircraft systems have been intercepted, “Lukashenko said, according to the official news agency Belta. Ukrainian forces.
Lukashenko stressed that his country is not trying to enter in war with Ukraine, but at the same time warned not to harm its land and its people, saying: “I repeat, as I said more than a year ago, we have no intention of fighting in Ukraine”.
Russian forces had departed from Belarus in an attempt to control the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, before retreating at the end of March in the face of Ukrainian resistance.
Lukashenko’s regime, subject to heavy Western sanctions, is heavily dependent on Russia militarily and economically.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow will deliver Iskander-M missiles to Belarus “in the coming months”. in capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Lukashenko confirmed on Saturday that he will respond “immediately” to any strike on the territory of Belarus, in a message addressed to Kiev and Western countries. “If you only dare to strike (…) at the Mozyr refinery, at Luninets airport or at Brest, the answer will come immediately, only in a second, “he promised.
“Less than a month ago, I ordered our armed forces to place decision-making centers in your capitals within their targets,” he added, referring to Putin’s promised missiles, as well as the Belarusian Polonez missile launch system.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said cooperation between Russia’s regions and its ally Belarus is one way to strengthen economic integration between the two countries.
He also pointed out that Western pressure and sanctions have contributed in significantly to accelerate the integration between the two countries.
He believed that “the main and important thing is that Russia and Belarus were in able not only to preserve the glorious traditions of strong friendship and mutual assistance, but also to multiply them “.
In his speech posted on the site web of the Kremlin, Putin said: “We have managed to achieve a truly exemplary level of strategic partnership and alliance.”
The Russian president also stressed that “the state of the union between Russia and Belarus is a true example of mutually beneficial integration and equality”.
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