MINSK, February 16. /TASS/. Ukraine was the one who incited Russia into the special military operation, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday.
"It’s not an invasion. The Ukrainian authorities were the ones who provoked this operation," Lukashenko said at a meeting with journalists, the BelTA news agency reported. "They should have made an agreement with Russia to avoid the conflict," he added.
Lukashenko pointed to Western politicians’ revelations that the Minsk accords had been taken advantage of in order to train the Ukrainian army. "There was no invasion. I believe that it’s about protecting Russia’s interests and the people who live there, the Russian people," he noted.
The Belarusian president also stressed that before the start of Russia’s special military operation, preparations had been made to carry out a missile strike on Belarus from Ukraine. "They came under attack from Belarus in the very first minutes. It had happened a few minutes before the special military operation was launched in the morning," he said.
Lukashenko also stressed that starting in 2020, Ukraine had in fact been the first to impose sanctions on Belarus before Western countries did so. In addition, the Belarusian leader recalled what the Ukrainian authorities had done in Donbass and the Odessa incident, where people had been burned alive. According to him, Ukraine was only an excuse for starting a war that the West was pushing for.
In the meantime, the head of state called for peace talks. "If you want peace for Ukraine, let’s start talking about peace tomorrow and the guns will go silent. But this is not what you [the West] want. You are to blame for the escalation. People are dying, so let’s stop it. Conditions have been created for that," Lukashenko said.