MINSK, March 19. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday said Western countries were pushing the Ukrainian government to start a war.
"The West pushed them toward this war," he said in an interview with Japan’s TBS television that was posted on the Belarus-1 YouTube channel.
The Belarusian leader said Kiev imposed sanctions on Belarus even before the West did. "They closed the opportunity for us to fly over Ukraine, meaning they closed the sky, restricted all flights," he said.
Military activities in Ukraine would be over quickly if the United States took a position in favor of peace but Washington is unlikely to make such a move, Belarusian President said.
"The war can end very quickly if he (US President Joe Biden - TASS) makes a phone call, if the US takes a position in favor of the establishment of peace on Ukrainian soil. However, he is unlikely to make a call like that. The reason is that the current situation in Ukraine is beneficial for the Americans. This is what America needs," Lukashenko pointed out.
According to him, it is either Russia and Ukraine that can end hostilities by signing an agreement or the US, by ordering the Ukrainian authorities to stop military activities. The Belarusian president believes that if Washington takes such a step, the European Union and other countries will support it.
Donbass and Russia
Belarus was ready to deploy border guards to the border between Donbass and Russia but Ukraine rejected the initiative, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
"I did everything to prevent war and maintain peace there before a conflict between Ukraine and Russia had broken out. I was even ready to block the border between Donbass and Russia. You know, it’s 400 kilometers long and I was ready to deploy my border guards there and provide other assistance to Ukraine. Russia agreed but Ukraine refused. Why? Because the West was pushing them to launch this war," Lukashenko pointed out.
He added that Ukraine had imposed sanctions on Belarus even before Western countries. In particular, Kiev closed the country’s airspace to Belarusian planes.
The economies of Russia and Belarus are practically indivisible, Lukashenko said.
"Economically, they are practically indivisible systems," he said. "We are so much built in the Russian manufacturing system and Russia in the Belarusian system that a breakup of cooperation ties would cause an economic catastrophe," he said.
"Secondly, we have a common market," Lukashenko went on to say. "We ship to Russia probably half of our products. It’s our main market."
Russia and Belarus, he said, is "practically one entity in terms of production, economy and a common market for sales." That also goes for the countries’ militaries as they are a single grouping, the president said.
"We are tied together very tightly," Lukashenko said. "These ties are called a Union State, something that we are trying to build with Russia.".
Zelensky has little control
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has little control over the processes that are underway in the country, Lukashenko said.
"I can only express my own point of view about Volodya Zelensky at the moment. I believe that he has little control over processes in Ukraine," Lukashenko pointed out.
"Even before the conflict, he did not seek to delve into these processes due to his level of preparedness of unpreparedness. However, he is not a stupid person and I was hopeful that as he gains experience, <...> he will start to adequately manage the situation in Ukraine. But it did not happen and a conflict broke out," the Belarusian president added.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said Russia has reasons to mistrust the current Ukrainian government.
"In 2014, a ceasefire was reached on the basis of the Minsk accords. Troops were pulled back and how did that end?" he said. "That ended in this war. So, Russia has all the reasons to not trust the current Ukrainian government."
Lukashenko said Russia has set goals for its operation in Ukraine and it will "definitely achieve them," he said.
Belarus remains neutral
Belarus remains neutral in the conflict in Ukraine and will do everything to help put an end to it, Belarusian President said.
"We will do everything to help end this conflict," he stated.
"If someone has nothing else to do, they can condemn Russia or Ukraine. As for us, we need to make efforts to end the conflict so that we all can start building warm friendly relations," Lukashenko added.
Belarus holds neutrality with respect to the events in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
"We are absolutely neutral. We are hosting the talks, and that’s the evidence of our position," he said. "We aren’t going to be pulled into this war. I have said that more than once."
He said Belarus won’t condemn either Russia or Ukraine.
"We should seek an end to the war and we start to build warm, friendly relations," he said.
Cyber weapons pose more danger to mankind than nuclear arms, Belarusian President told a Japanese reporter following an interview with Japan’s TBS broadcasting company.
"Nuclear arms won’t be a source of danger in the future as there are more dangerous things than nuclear arms. Those include biological weapons and cyber weapons. They are far more dangerous," Lukashenko said, according to a video posted on a Telegram channel close to the Belarusian presidential press service.
According to Lukashenko, "mankind has not yet realized the danger, particularly the one coming from cyber weapons."
"We all tremble at the mention of nuclear arms but cyber weapons are scarier," the Belarusian president noted, adding that such weapons were difficult to detect, while people "are not ready yet to fear cybercrime and cyber weapons.".
Russia will be able to complete
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said Russia will be able to complete its special military operation in Ukraine on its own, and Minsk isn’t being asked to step in.
"No one is asking us to take part in the operation of the Russian military directly," he said. "I spoke about it recently. We are unable to add anything to this Russian operation."
"They have enough personnel, they have enough equipment, which is the same we have, but even more advanced," he went on to say. "So, Russia will be able to handle this problem without Belarus, without Japan or any other country."
Lukashenko said Belarus holds neutrality, and cited the fact that the country is hosting talks between Russia and Ukraine as evidence.
Earlier, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian president’s head of staff, stated there is currently no threat that Belarus will invade Ukraine.
Ukraine shouldn’t be a foothold for attacking
Lukashenko has said Ukraine shouldn’t be a foothold for attacking Russia.
"Russia is offering Ukraine the same things that are happening in Belarus, meaning Ukraine should become like Belarus, with some nuances" he said.
Lukashenko said Ukraine shouldn’t possess nuclear weapons, threaten Russia and ban people living in the country from speaking the language they wish because "there’s a lot of Russians there."
"If they want to speak Russia, please let them do so," he said. "No one should pressure anyone."
"By no means should Nazism thrive there [in Ukraine] so it doesn’t evolve into fascism that we lived through in the middle of the last century," Lukashenko said.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal was to demilitarize and denazify the country.