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Ukraine crisis: Belarus ‘will fight alongside Russia’ if Putin goes to war, says Lukashenko

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Ukraine crisis: Belarus ‘will fight alongside Russia’ if Putin goes to war, says Lukashenko

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Belarus will fight alongside Russia if Moscow invades Ukraine, Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday, even as Russia’s foreign minister said the Kremlin had no intention of going to war.

The Belarusian president said he would welcome “hundreds of thousands” of Russian troops to his country if Belarus or Russia were attacked.

“If there is an aggression against Belarus, there will be hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers. Who, together with hundreds of thousands of Belarusians, will defend this land,” he said.

But like Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said on Friday that Russia “does not want war”, Lukashenko warned that if there was a conflict “there would be no winners”.

“Everyone is going to lose everything,” he said.

Moscow and Minsk are key allies, with Putin providing key support for Lukashenko during the protests following his disputed re-election in 2020.

The United States and NATO have warned that Russia plans to invade Ukraine after 100,000 Russian troops massed on the border with the country in recent weeks.

Russia has repeatedly denied plans to invade Ukraine, from which it annexed Crimea in 2014. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists control swathes of territory around the towns of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Moscow has demanded assurances that Ukraine be kept out of NATO, which the Kremlin sees as a broad anti-Russian military alliance, and that it stop deploying weapons near Russia’s borders.

Ukraine crisis: Belarus ‘will fight alongside Russia’ if Putin goes to war, says Lukashenko

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