Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko this Monday condemned the US government’s “paternalistic threats” against Belarus and assured that the country would not be occupied as long as he was head of state.
“Yesterday they informed me about the threats from the State Department. Diplomats came out of New York and published their threats: they will impose sanctions if we (Vladimir) let Putin and Russia do this or that. If we decide to harbor nuclear weapons, they will do something else. They have a paternalistic tone towards us,” he lamented.
In this sense, he made it clear that “they don’t need war”. “The United States, with the help of Poland and Latvia, is pushing for it to happen. We have been a guarantor of security in the region and have always been appreciated for that,” he assured, before insisting that “it couldn’t be worse. “
“We will have to defend our borders. We know how to do it and we will do it, I assure you,” Lukashenko said, according to the BelTA news agency.
Therefore, he called on the European Union and the international community to “look in the mirror first”. “It is not us who want this situation to escalate, we will only respond,” he assured.
For Lukashenko, the occupation of Belarusian territory “will not take place as long as he is president”. He also accuses the opposition media of “playing” with the narrative of a possible occupation plan in view of the arrival of Russian troops. “There is no reason to speculate on this matter,” he stressed.
In this sense, Lukashenko defended the joint military exercises with the Russian army and stressed that these are regular maneuvers between the two countries.
“It is important for us because we will deploy a contingent of the Belarusian army there. It’s not an occupation at all, we just want to protect our southern border,” he added, explaining that the Ukrainians were the first to deploy troops.
The President has lamented that the situation on the country’s southern border is “getting more and more complicated”, especially given the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
“Of course, the security of our state begins at the border because our sovereignty is secure at those edges, and it is the border troops that go a long way in ensuring that,” he said.
For his part, he pointed out that the border guards must be more vigilant due to the increase in migratory flows in 2021, in particular due to the deployment of troops from third countries. “There is a lot to talk about on our southern border at the moment. The situation is getting complicated and they are trying to draw attention to our maneuvers with Russia,” he said.
“In 2021, the number of people arrested for crossing borders increased by 23 percent.
On the same day, Lukashenko approved a border security plan for 2022. According to the State Borders Committee, border guards will focus on border sections where new external challenges and threats to border security are possible, particularly on the border with Ukraine.