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Lukashenko concerned over growing arms smuggling from Ukraine to Belarus

According to the Belarusian president, the instability in Donbass has led to increased problems for Minsk

MINSK, November 17. /TASS/. The current instability in Ukraine has led to increased problems for Minsk, including cross-border trafficking in arms and explosives, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told the Russian regional media at a press conference.

"We have to try hard to protect a 1,200-kilometer long border with Ukraine because huge amounts of arms and explosives have been coming in. We have been seizing arms smuggled not only on the border but at the (Minsk) Rail Terminal as well," Lukashenko explained.

"It has been hard for us," he stressed. According to the Belarusian president, "arms were earlier smuggled from the West to the East through the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine, but now the smuggled arms flow through Belarus." "On the one hand, this is positive. But on the other hand, it requires huge efforts and spending to ensure security here," Lukashenko added.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict should seek peace, he went on.

According to Lukashenko, "if the two parties come to terms and say that Belarus can play a positive role, then we are ready to do anything to ensure peace there." "We are ready to work in order to settle the situation," the Belarusian president added. He went on to say that "we briefed the West on our proposals when the conflict broke out." "But they have been silent, which means they don’t want peace to return to Ukraine," Lukashenko noted.

He also said that "certainly, no one wants Russia to enhance its influence in other parts of the world." "So they seek to embroil Russia in various conflicts, first and foremost, in Ukraine, so Moscow gets entangled. The US and the EU leaders may change but their policies will always remain the same. They don’t want Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to be strong. But we should have sense and take appropriate steps. I believe, we are able to do something so a positive process begins there (in Ukraine)," the Belarusian president concluded.