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Belarus leader offers guarantees on pullout of Ukraine's troops, hardware from Debaltsevo

February 18, 2015, 12:00 UTC+3
Belarus is ready to accommodate military harware from Debltsevo in Belarus
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MINSK, February 18. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has offered guarantees on pullout of Ukrainian government troops and military hardware from eastern Ukraine's Debaltsevo.

"We are prepared to not just act as mediators, but to decently put an end to this conflict near Debaltsevo and promote the pullout of Ukrainian troops from there against the security of our guarantees they will never be fighting again," Lukashenko said at a meeting with the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti on Wednesday.

Also, he declared that "if some may feel somewhat strained over the weapons at the Ukrainian troops’ disposal in Debaltsevo, we shall be prepared to accommodate that hardware in Belarus."

Lukashenko promised Belarus would ensure the weapons in question would never be used in combat again.

He pointed out that for that the approval of all parties is crucial.

"If the lives of thousands of innocent encircled people are a priority for them, we shall be prepared to do that within 24 hours," he stated.

Belarus seeks to play some role in settling the conflict in Ukraine, Lukashenko said.

"But we prefer to avoid publicity. Sometimes this work is more important than public relations," he explained.

‘Belarus might play a greater role in settling that conflict, if both parties involved wished that," he remarked. Minsk, he said was prepared to offer to the Ukrainian and other parties involved to address the problem within a day.

"If Ukraine, Russia, and the Donetsk and Luhansk republics really wish that, we may act not just as mediator, but to put this conflict near Debaltsevo to a decent end," Lukashenko said.

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