MINSK, March 31. /TASS/. Russia was forced to incorporate Crimea amid the West's escalation of tensions over Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.
"The Russian Federation was forced to take action to incorporate Crimea," he said in a message to the Belarusian people and parliament.
Lukashenko stressed that Crimea’s reunification with Russia occurred against the background of an "extraordinary threat" to Russia’s security and "without a single shot being fired." At the same time, the reason for such a development of the situation around Crimea and Ukraine was the coup d'etat that had taken place in Kiev.
"The events in eastern Ukraine, in Donbass were a continuation of the policy of eliminating everything Russian. The ideology of fascism was already turning into practice: murders of dissenters and arson. Remember the people burned alive in Odessa. The extermination of the Russian population and provocations against Russia and its leadership forced the Russian president to take measures to protect the Russian people," Lukashenko added.