Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko will order his troops to fight in Ukraine only if another country launches an attack on his nation, the state-run Belta news agency reported Thursday.
At a press conference in Minsk, Mr. Lukashenko denied he was angling for Belarus to become a combatant in Ukraine on the side of his Russian allies.
“I am ready to fight together with the Russians from the territory of Belarus only in one case: if at least one soldier sets foot in Belarus to kill my people,” he said. “If they commit aggression against Belarus, the answer will be immediate. The war will acquire a completely different scale then.”
While security analysts say it appears Russia will soon begin further offensive operations in Ukraine, Mr. Lukashenko denied Belarus has plans for a large-scale mobilization effort.
“We are preparing for war in order to be able to prevent aggression against us. That’s it,” he said, according to Belta. “Belarusians do not need to worry about it.”
Belarus let Russian troops conduct weekslong military training exercises on its territory before the start of the invasion a year ago. Mr. Lukashenko also signed off on allowing Moscow to stage part of its invasion from Belarus, providing the Kremlin with a much shorter route of advance to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.