MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The United States and Western countries are seeking to extend the conflict in Ukraine for as long as possible, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday.
"So far, we only see that the West, including Washington, is seeking to maximally prolong the conflict. That is why they continue to pour weapons to Ukraine. The goal is clear - to weaken Russia by drowning it, as they say, in this war. And they also want a wider flare-up, and we see it as well," he said.
"Even before the beginning of Russia’s military operation, Belarus drew attention to the ungrounded growth of the West’s military presence in Ukraine and in the region in general," he said, adding that Minsk had repeatedly warned that "events were trending toward a conflict."
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country.