Turkish authorities impose media ban on coverage of Istanbul explosionWorld December 11, 3:01
Erdogan says Istanbul terrorist attack causes fatalitiesWorld December 11, 2:52
Number of wounded in Istanbul explosion rises to 70 — TV channelWorld December 11, 2:38
Three settlements in Syria join cessation of hostilities — Russia’s Defense MinistryWorld December 11, 2:34
TV: Islamic State re-enters ancient city of PalmyraWorld December 10, 21:20
Saudi minister says Russia led consultations process with OPECBusiness & Economy December 10, 20:41
UK foreign secretary says protection of civilians should be 'top priority' in SyriaWorld December 10, 20:31
Non-OPEC states join historic oil cut dealBusiness & Economy December 10, 20:23
Russian diplomat urges Western reporters to be unbiased in war news coverageRussian Politics & Diplomacy December 10, 20:08
MINSK, March 30. /TASS/. The United States can resolve the conflict in Ukraine if it has such a wish, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the meeting with a Pentagon official in Minsk on Wednesday.
"If the United States wants to end the war in eastern Ukraine tomorrow and takes a few steps in this direction, this bloodbath will be over there," Lukashenko told US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter.
The Belarusian leader said before the summit of the Normandy Four group (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) in Minsk he had suggested that the US should also take part in settling the crisis in Ukraine.
He also said that security in Eastern Europe is another important issue. "It is impossible without the US to end this and balance the situation, I mean Ukraine and other tendencies," Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko stressed that Minsk cannot help reacting to NATO’s expansion to the east.
"You understand very well that we are not delighted by the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance has lately stepped up its eastward movement. We cannot no react to this as this is happening at our borders, and this concerns us," Lukashenko told Carpenter.
"I don’t want to demonize this process. I don’t think that NATO is going to fight against Russia or Belarus. This is impossible in current conditions, and no one needs it. Neither US nor Europe need the second conflict in this part of Europe," he added.
The Belarusian president noted that proceeding from statements made by US officials, Brussels and Washington "absolutely want to see Belarus peaceful and independent and use it, as well as other countries, for peaceful purposes in Europe."
Lukashenko said that US needs stability in Europe, and any clashes between countries always weaken those countries but strengthen others that do not participate in this conflict.
The military doctrine of Belarus is of an exclusively defensive character and Minsk will never fight on the territory of other states, Lukashenko went on to say.
"We will never attack anyone or use weapons," Lukashenko said at talks with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter.
Belarus does not hide its position from the post-Soviet security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that consists of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Lukashenko stressed that in case of imminent threat Belarus will defend itself and fulfill its commitments as Russia’s ally, "but only on its plot of land."
Belarus does not conceal if it obtains new weaponry, he added. "We speak about this directly and show it, and this is not in order to frighten anyone. We want our partners to understand what is going on."
The president also stressed that Minsk is ready to cooperate with the United States, adding that a new stage of relations of Belarus and the West is beginning. "We have started talking to each other, a serious dialogue is underway."
According to the president, the conflict in Ukraine jeopardizes Belarus as a significant amount of weapons could enter the country.
"Speaking on new threats amid the situation in Ukraine - if this is not terrorism then this is flooding Belarus with weapons from Ukraine," Lukashenko told US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter.
The Belarusian law enforcement bodies constantly register such facts, the president added.
Lukashenko has also stressed that the position of Minsk on the Ukrainian crisis remains unchanged. "We will be always committed to the principles of peace. We need no war in Ukraine. We suffer greatly from this," the president said.
Some 160,000 Ukrainian refuges are currently staying in Belarus. "Certain rich European states groan as hundreds of refugees have arrived there from the Middle East. You see, it is difficult for them to withstand this, and if there were 160,000 people...," Lukashenko said. The Ukrainian refugees in Belarus have equal rights with local citizens and they are employed on a priority basis, he added.