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Belarusian army does not participate in special operation in Ukraine, Lukashenko says

"No matter how hard certain forces are trying to pull Belarus into military actions on Ukrainian soil nowadays the Belarusians have no grounds for concern," the president stressed

MINSK, March 4. /TASS/. Belarusian Armed Forces do not participate in the special military operation in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.

"No matter how hard certain forces, and you know them, are trying to pull us into military actions on Ukrainian soil nowadays, you [Belarusians] have no grounds for concern. I would like to emphasize once again, with our forces, we are protecting the state border from Brest to Mozyr. The Belarusian army has not participated in the special operation [in Ukraine] and has no intention of doing so. There is simply no need," he said at the official signing ceremony of the decisions of the nationwide referendum on amendments to the constitution.

The head of state noted that Belarus also has to ensure a reliable protection of its borders in the west and the northwest. "Because if we drop the ball there, people will never forgive us," he stressed.

The Belarusian president expressed hope that he would never again have to convince the public that Belarusians are not taking part in the special operation. "You know, sometimes I am even hurt somewhat that day in and day out I am reiterating and assuring: oh no, we are so nice and we will continue to be harmless and nice, oh no, we won't go anywhere, we will protect our land. You know, if you are not hearing me, it's time for you to elect a new president," he noted.

"I am aware of our children. This is why I have no need or desire to dispatch them to some place to some war. Moreover, I reiterate, nobody is inviting us or asking [to participate]. We have to protect our land, our state, and this will be our contribution to the security of our continent, or nowadays, perhaps even the entire planet," the Belarusian leader said.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

Russia's Defense Ministry reported later that Russian troops were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. It emphasized that Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons.