26 Feb 2022 16:58

Lukashenko urges Kyiv to agree to negotiations with Moscow 'before it's too late'

MINSK. Feb 26 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has called for putting an end to the conflict in Ukraine through negotiations before it is too late.

"Tomorrow will be war, and the day after tomorrow will be massacre. Therefore, if they have any brains, those lunatics of all kinds, let's make a decision and sit down the table. If Russia has prompted them and signaled its consent for the third time literally in the past few days, and they already agreed to the conditions offered by Russia today, then why are we marking time? After all, people are dying! That's one thing," the presidential press service quoted Lukashenko as saying after participating in a ski competition at the Raubichi sports ground near Minsk on Saturday.

"It might so happen that nobody will need any negotiations tomorrow. Perhaps the victorious country (you don't doubt what's going to happen, do you) simply wouldn't like to talk to anyone. Therefore, well, they're crazy," Lukashenko said.

"And it seems to me, again, that there are forces who keep instigating that [Ukrainian] regime: go ahead, don't give up, there are thugs from Afghanistan coming in, and we'll send some from the Middle East, too. And they have enough of their own PMCs. Those are professional gunmen, professional killers. Therefore, this is even more dangerous to Russia, not to mention us, and we don't need that," he said.

"From Japan to America, all of them are trying to associate us with that war. They've already announced sanctions on us. It seems that even that IOC [International Olympic Committee] bunch, as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin called them, have stated something as if we were taking part in a war. Well, they simply looked for a pretext. It's clear that they received a call from across the ocean to be told what to do. And they're doing that. Never mind, we'll survive that. What really matters is, people shouldn't be dying. Those people and that country are close to us," he said.