Putin, Lukashenko agree to continue military cooperation
Russia says Western countries appear reluctant to take a reasonable grasp of Moscow's proposal of security guarantees, as Belarus warns the current escalation around Donbas threatens to erupt a war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday, that he agreed with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to maintain military cooperation between the two countries in light of NATO's increased activity at the external borders of allied countries
At a press conference with Lukashenko after their meeting in Moscow, the Russian president mentioned that both sides have jointly given a high evaluation of the Allied Resolve-2022 joint drills on the Belarusian military ranges.
He noted that it must be emphasized that these exercises are of a purely defensive nature, and do not threaten anyone.
West reluctant to perceive Russia's security guarantees
Putin revealed that he had briefed Lukashenko, on the content of his contacts with foreign colleagues on security guarantees, noting that Minsk is concerned about this issue.
"We consider it quite natural and understandable that this issue is also of concern to our Belarusian allies," he highlighted.
The Russian president said Western countries appear reluctant to take a reasonable grasp of Russia's proposal of security guarantees in Europe.
He expressed that "unfortunately, the United States and other members of the alliance are not yet inclined to adequately perceive these guarantees."
Ready to follow negotiations track
Putin underscored that NATO countries have proposed a set of ideas in the framework of the European security, including short- and intermediate-range missiles and the military transparency, which Russia was ready to discuss.
"We are ready to follow the negotiations track, provided that all issues are considered as a package without disconnecting from Russia's main proposals, the implementation of which is our unconditional priority," the president underlined.
Ukraine undermining implementation of Minsk agreements
He stressed that Ukraine needs to engage in dialogue with self-proclaimed Donbas republics to end the ongoing conflict.
"All Kyiv needs to do is sit down at the negotiating table with representatives of Donbas and agree on political, military, economic, and humanitarian measures to end the conflict."
Putin noted that the rights of the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine are "systematically violated."
Lukashenko: Current situation threatens to erupt war
In turn, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned that the current military escalation around the Donbas region in southeastern Ukraine threatens to erupt a war that will involve all of Europe.
Lukashenko stressed that no one wants the escalation of any conflicts, especially Belarus and Russia.
He pointed out that the recent developments around Donbas clearly show the lack of responsibility of some Western politicians.
Lukashenko also considered that the behavior of the leaders of some countries neighboring Russia and Belarus in these circumstances are illogical.
It is noteworthy that the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Putin will supervise the exercises of the Russian nuclear forces on Saturday, which will include the launching of ballistic and cruise missiles.