Ukraine is not interested in the negotiations with Russia, Lukashenko says

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus

© APA | Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus

# 05 May 2022 13:43 (UTC +04:00)

Belarus’ authoritarian leader said that he didn’t expect Russia’s “operation” in Ukraine to drag on for so long and claimed he was doing “everything” to stop the war in a sit-down interview with The Associated Press on Thursday., APA reports,

President Alexander Lukashenko defended Russia’s operation in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. However, he said he didn’t think it would “drag on this way.”

“But I am not immersed in this problem enough to say whether it goes according to plan like the Russians say or like I feel it. I want to stress one more time, I feel like this operation has dragged on,” Lukashenko said during the nearly 90-minute interview at the Independence Palace in Minsk.

He also alleged that Ukraine was “provoking Russia” and insisted that Belarus stands for peace.

“But why is Ukraine, on whose territory a war in effect is ongoing, military action, people are dying — why is Ukraine not interested in these negotiations?”

Lukashenko also said it would be “unacceptable” to use nuclear weapons, but he couldn’t say if Russia has such plans.

“Not only is the use of nuclear weapons unacceptable because it’s right next to us — we are not across the ocean like the United States. It is also unacceptable because it might knock our terrestrial ball flying off the orbit to who knows where,” Lukashenko said. “Whether or not Russia is capable of that — is a question you need to ask the Russian leadership.”

“We categorically do not accept any war. We have done and are doing everything now so that there isn’t a war. Thanks to yours truly, me that is, negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have begun,” he said.

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