Lukashenko accuses Ukraine of firing missiles at Belarus
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says his country's army intercepted missiles launched from Ukraine at his country.
Minsk's national air defense systems intercepted earlier this week missiles fired by the Ukrainian armed forces at military sites in Belarus, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday.
"Three or more days ago, they launched missiles from the Ukrainian territory in an attempt to strike military facilities in Belarus, but Pantsir systems intercepted all missiles fired by the Ukrainian armed forces," the president said.
Lukashenko called the attempted attack a provocation designed to pull his country into war. He also noted that there were no Belarusian boots on the ground in Ukraine and that he wanted Minsk to have no part in the conflict.
"We do not want to fight in Ukraine. There is absolutely no need in this war here," he said.
The Belarusian president also revealed that he ordered his country's armed forces less than a month ago to target the "decision-making center" in the capitals of the states that Minsk sees as enemies, warning the latter of an "instantaneous" response to a possible attack on Belarusian soil.
Lukashenko had said in late May that there was a tense military and political situation developing at the Belarusian border. He stressed that his country would do everything possible to protect the country's independence, territorial integrity, and borders.
Belarusian Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Ruslan Kosygin said in early May that NATO had doubled its military presence in Eastern Europe, allowing it to send strike forces to the Russian and Belarusian borders in the shortest time possible.
The West, mainly the United States, has been pushing staunchly against Russia in light of the Ukraine war, accusing Minsk of assisting Moscow against Kiev and participating in hostilities on the Russian side, which subsequently led to sanctions on both countries.
The British government said the move was designed to further weaken "Putin's war machine." With these new sanctions, the value of the products subjected to tariffs will amount to more than 4 billion pounds.