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Belarus Will Support Russia in the Event of Aggression From Ukraine, Lukashenko Says

© Sputnik / Go to the photo bankBelarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. File photo.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
MINSK (Sputnik) - If Russia faces aggression from Ukraine, Minsk will support Moscow, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
"If Russia faces aggression from Ukraine, we will be closely teaming up — economically, legally, and politically — with Russia. This is the main thing,” Lukashenko said.
He stressed that he would never be "on the side of the nationalist intoxication that is taking place in Ukraine today."
“I will do everything to make Ukraine ours. It is our Ukraine, our people there. These are not emotions, this is my firm conviction,” the head of the Belarusian state said.
Lukashenko previously announced his plans to visit Crimea, saying that his trip would mean its recognition as part of Russia by Minsk.
"We all understood that Crimea is de facto Russian Crimea. After the referendum, Crimea became Russian de jure."
"We have a definite agreement with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we will spend time in Crimea," Lukashenko said, adding that he has been invited to the peninsula.

Following the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, an overwhelming majority of people in Crimea voted in March 2014 to secede from the country and rejoin Russia in a referendum that Kiev and its Western allies rejected as illegal. Moscow has emphasised that the referendum was carried out in accordance with international law.

On Tuesday, the Belarusian president said that Minsk would suggest that Moscow deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus if similar NATO systems appear in Poland. The proposal was voiced shortly after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance might move nuclear weapons to the eastern European countries if Germany refuses to deploy them.
The Belarusian leader's comments come amid simmering tensions between Russia, on the one hand, and Ukraine and NATO, on the other hand. Over the past weeks, NATO and Kiev have accused Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine, something Moscow has consistently denied as absurd.
Earlier, Lukashenko said that Belarusian-Ukrainian political relations are at their lowest point. Ukraine is one of the countries that Belarus, along with the Western countries, accused of interfering in its internal affairs; additionally, last year's opposition protests were coordinated from its territory.
Relations between Kiev and Minsk deteriorated when the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, after Lukashenko's inauguration last year, announced that it did not consider him a legitimate president.

Blocking Transit of Energy Resources

Other than Ukraine, the Belarusian president has reiterated his readiness to suspend the transit of energy resources should Poland follow through with its threats to close the border.
"The Poles decided to close the border with Belarus. Alright, close it. We do not go to the European Union very often. Our interest today is in Russia, China and the East most of all. What if I close [the transit route]? What will then happen to this flow, which mainly goes through us to Russia, China?" Lukashenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
He then challenged Warsaw to close the Belarus border and see who will end up in a more disadvantaged situation.
Earlier this month, Lukashenko warned the EU that Belarus could stop gas transit, saying that the bloc needed to think about the transit of Russian gas via Belarus before imposing new sanctions against Minsk. At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Lukashenko was entitled to make such a decision, but it would violate transit contracts. He expressed hope that it won't happen.
Late last month, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Warsaw did not rule out the possibility of closing the borders with Belarus over the ongoing migration crisis.
In this image taken with a drone Polish servicemen use a water cannon during clashes between migrants and Polish border guards at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.11.2021
Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Alexander Lukashenko Says Poland-Belarus Refugee Crisis May be Resolved by Year-End
Lukashenko told RIA Novosti that Minsk will try to resolve the issue with refugees on the Belarusian-Polish border until the end of the year. The EU's refusal to build refugee camps and sanctions became reasons for the migration crisis on Belarusian borders, Lukashenko believes.
The president revealed that Belarus has spent about $25 million on aid to refugees on the border with Poland, clarifying that this refers to the costs of providing migrants with food, treatment, and heating.
In recent months, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania have reported an increase in the number of asylum-seekers, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa, trying to illegally cross the border from Belarus, accusing Minsk of using migrants as a "hybrid weapon" against the bloc after it imposed sanctions on the country. Belarus denied all the allegations, saying it could no longer suppress migration to neighboring countries due to lack of resources caused by Western sanctions against the country.
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