(Reuters) – Belarusian chief Alexander Lukashenko stated on Tuesday that he had been requested to conclude a non-aggression pact with Ukraine, the Belta state information company reported, citing feedback that instructed he noticed Kyiv as a possible risk.
Lukashenko, an in depth ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, disclosed the alleged provide to a gathering of presidency and legislation enforcement officers at which he additionally accused Ukraine – with out proof – of permitting its territory for use by the West to coach and arm militants who may destabilise the scenario in Belarus.
Lukashenko was quoted by Belta as saying:
“…They’re asking us to not go to battle with Ukraine in any circumstances, to not transfer our troops there. They’re proposing we conclude a non-aggression pact.”
It was not instantly clear from his feedback whether or not Ukraine itself or the West had made the alleged provide.
There was no instant response from Kyiv, the place officers have stated they’re anxious that Moscow might use Belarus as a launching pad for a brand new assault on Ukraine from the north.
The Kremlin declined to remark “for now” on whether or not Lukashenko would focus on the alleged provide with Putin.
Minsk allowed Moscow to make use of Belarusian territory to ship troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 final 12 months. Its personal troops have thus far not fought within the battle nevertheless, whereas stepping up joint navy coaching with Russian forces deployed in Belarus.
In the identical speech, Belta cited Lukashenko as accusing Ukraine of internet hosting militants who may very well be a part of an alleged long-term Western plan to destabilise his nation.
“I do not know why the Ukrainians want this,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying. He stated his safety forces would reply harshly to any risk to inside order and didn’t need a repeat of mass protests towards him in 2020/21 which he solid on the time as a part of an alleged Western regime change plot.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Modifying by Mark Trevelyan)