Lukashenko: No Belarusian soldiers or weapons in Ukraine
Belarus President refutes Kiev's claims that the Russian forces are entering through the Belarusian border.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed on Sunday that there are no Belarusian soldiers or weapons in Ukraine, emphasizing that Russia does not need them to carry out a successful military operation in Ukraine.
"He [Zelensky] reproaches us for fighting there [in Ukraine] from our territory. There is not a single soldier of ours... not a single combat vehicle. It's not even that there is neither a single machine gun, nor grenade launcher, nor gun. There is not even a single Belarusian cartridge. Not because we got scared of something and are afraid. No. Because Russia does not need it," Lukashenko told reporters.
According to him, Moscow has a sufficient amount of military equipment and forces to reach its objectives in Ukraine by itself. At the same time, in response to Zelensky's allegations, Lukashenko stressed that Kiev was behind supplying weapons to Belarus and organizing armed gangs for provocations in Minsk.
"First, weapons were brought to us from the territory of Ukraine, then our fugitives [opposition leaders] fled there even before 2020. There, armed gangs were organized in their camps, and not only in their camps in Donbass, but there were also provocations here, in Belarus," Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko says Kiev pushing Minsk toward special operation
Lukashenko added that the Belarusian citizens were being beaten up in Ukraine, adding that Kiev was pushing Minsk toward a special operation in favor of its people.
"They are catching Russians and Belarusians in Ukraine, they are beating them up," Lukashenko said.
"Is he [Volodymyr Zelenskyy] provoking me into holding a special operation to free our people there?" Lukashenko said. He added that Ukraine at first agreed to Russia's conditions on talks, which he relayed to them but then refused.
Ukrainians agreed to talks then pulled back
In reference to the Kremlins' statement of a Russian delegation arriving in Belarus to hold talks with Ukrainian officials, Lukashenko said, "They [Ukrainians] agreed to all points I listed and even more. They agreed to all. In the evening [on Saturday], the president of Russia called — and they refused. I'm saying refused, it's their choice."
According to the Belarusian president, Ukrainian elites asked him to call Volodymyr Zelensky and ask him "to stop". Lukashenko urged Kiev to sit at the negotiation table with Russia.
Weapons were brought to Belarus from Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron called on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to accelerate Russia's withdrawal from Belarus, the Elysee Palace said in a statement after the two leaders' phone conversations.
"The President of the French Republic requested the President of Belarus to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Belarusian soil as quickly as possible, as these troops are waging a unilateral and unjust war, and he emphasized the need to cooperate with the international community in carrying out humanitarian operations to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people," it said.
Macron also condemned the possibility of Russia placing nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory, the statement says. "The President of the Republic made a point of denouncing the seriousness of a decision which would authorize Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil," it says.
However, on his part, the president of Belarus said the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory is "fake".