5 May 2022 14:51

Belarus isn't going to threaten anyone - Lukashenko

MINSK. May 5 (Interfax) - It is not in Belarus' interests to unleash a war with the West, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"We do not threaten anyone and we are not going to threaten and will not do it. Moreover, we cannot threaten -- we know who opposes us. That's why, to unleash some kind of a conflict, some kind of war in the West is absolutely not in the interests of the Belarusian state. So the West can sleep peacefully," Lukashenko was quoted by his press service as saying in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.

Lukashenko also said he did not expect the Russian special operation in Ukraine to drag on for so long.

"But I am not immersed in this problem enough to say whether it goes according to plan, like they [the Russians] say, or like I feel it. I want to stress once again, I feel like this operation has dragged on," he said.

Lukashenko believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want a direct clash with NATO.

"He [Vladimir Putin] most likely does not want a global confrontation with NATO... Use it. Use it and do everything for that not to happen," the Belarusian president said.

Lukashenko also underscored the unacceptability of any use of nuclear weapons.

"Is Russia capable of it? It is a question that should be put to the Russian leadership," he said.

"The use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable not only because they are right next to us, as, unlike the United States, we are not overseas, but it is also unacceptable because it could destroy our planet," Lukashenko said.

In Lukashenko's opinion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cannot stop the armed conflict because he is not the one who runs Ukraine, but the West can do it.

"Maybe, the Ukrainian leadership even wants to do it, but it cannot. It cannot do so for one reason: because Zelensky does not run Ukraine today (let him take no offense at me, it is my opinion). It is you [the West] who run things there," Lukashenko said.

"If [U.S. President] Joe Biden says: "That's enough, guys, enough fighting. You've given one another a good beating. It's time to stop. No one needs the war. It does not benefit anyone", then everything will stop within a week," the Belarusian president said.

The United States is seeking first to get the problem of Russia and then China "out of the way," Lukashenko said.

"We see this now: the United States of America wants to take advantage of the opportunity and, harnessing its allies to itself, sink Russia in the war in Ukraine," he said.

"Its goal is to get first Russia and then China out of the way," Lukashenko said.