WASHINGTON, December 20. /TASS/. The United States is concerned by the role of Belarus in Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and Washington will remain in close contact with Kiev, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.
"We have long been concerned by Belarus’s role in [the Ukrainian conflict]," she said. According to Jean-Pierre, Minsk has enabled Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, "providing support for Russia and allowing Belarusian territory to be used as a staging ground for Russian forces." "We continue to monitor Russia’s force posture closely. That’s something that we have been doing and will continue to do, including in Belarus, and remain in close contact with Ukraine," she said, commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Minsk.
The Russian head of state held talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Monday. The Russian delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, and Roscosmos CEO Yury Borisov.
Russian Putin said in a televised address on February 24 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 Ukraine. Following this, Washington introduced sweeping sanctions against Moscow. Restrictions were also imposed on Belarus, which, the United States said, supported the Russian operation.