Belarus’ president has denied that his army was taking part in the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
Alexander Lukashenko spoke at an emergency meeting with military officials in the capital Minsk, referring to reports suggesting that Russian troops backed by Belarus were attacking Ukrainian territory. He clarified that the armed forces of Belarus were not taking part in the Russian operation.
Moscow’s intervention followed a months-long buildup of over 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders, including some 30,000 in Belarus, reportedly for military exercises that ended on Sunday.
There are also reports that Russian forces entered Ukraine from Belarus on February 24.
Saying that he had earlier warned Ukraine, Lukashenko added that the countries in conflict should seek ways to prevent bloodshed and war.
He called for negotiations in the capital Minsk with the participation of Ukrainian and Russian sides, saying they were “three Slavic peoples” who should sit down and determine their future.