Lukashenko, Putin: Conflict in Ukraine can be resolved any moment
During a meeting with his Belarussian counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses his confidence that Moscow and Minsk will overcome sanctions and restrictions imposed on both countries.
During a meeting in Moscow on Friday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the course of the Ukrainian-Russian negotiations.
The two presidents agreed that if Kiev wishes, the conflict can be resolved at any time, Lukashenko's Spokesperson Natalya Eismont pointed out.
"As a matter of priority, the heads of state discussed in detail the situation in the world, in the region, with a focus on Ukraine. One of the main topics in this context was the progress of the negotiations taking place in Belarus, and the positions of the Russian and Ukrainian sides," state-run agency Belta quoted Eismont as saying.
Putin's aide Vladimir Medinsky, who leads Russia's negotiating team at talks with Kiev, was invited to the meeting, the spokesperson noted.
"Unanimous opinion was voiced: if the Ukrainian side wishes, the conflict can be resolved at any moment," Eismont affirmed.
Lukashenko: Ukraine would have attacked Belarus
During the meeting, Lukashenko revealed that Ukraine would have attacked his country if it wasn't for Russia’s preventive strike.
"Had this not been done (preventive strike carried out) one day ahead, believe me, we would be forced to have this bitter cup and experience great losses. Let me say once again, they had plans for attacking not Donbass alone. They were in a position for a strike against Belarus, too," Lukashenko said.
The Belarussian President affirmed that "We did not start this war. Our conscience is clear. It’s good we began to act."
Russian-Ukrainian talks making certain progress
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Lukashenko on a successful referendum on the amendment of the Belarusian constitution.
A total of 82.86 percent of Belarussians favored the amendments that will change about half of the constitution's articles.
As for the ongoing negotiations between the Russian and the Ukrainian delegations, Putin indicated that the daily talks that are taking place are making certain progress.
"There are certain positive developments there, as the negotiators from our side reported to me," he said.
Both delegations have already held three rounds of talks in Belarus. The date and place of the fourth meeting have yet to be determined.
It is noteworthy that Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba met in Antalya in Turkey on March 10.
The foreign ministers arrived in Turkey for talks on reaching a ceasefire. This marks the first high-level contact between the two sides since the beginning of Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.
Moscow & Minsk will overcome difficulties
In regard to the wave of sanctions imposed against Russia and Belarus, Putin expressed his confidence that Moscow and Minsk will overcome these difficulties and restrictions imposed on the two countries.
In addition, the Russian President thanked his counterpart for restoring power supply to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.