Belarus could go to war if Ukraine ‘invades’, Russia says | News about the Russian-Ukrainian warThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Moscow has warned of a “collective response” to any attack on Russia or Belarus as the allies prepare to hold joint military exercises.
Belarus could enter the Ukrainian conflict if Kyiv decides to “invade” either Belarus or Russia, a Russian foreign ministry official said.
In an interview with state media broadcast on Friday, Alexei Polishchuk said upcoming Russian military exercises with Belarus were designed to prevent escalation, but warned there was the potential for Moscow’s closest ally to join the military effort.
“From a legal point of view, the use of military force by the regime in Kyiv or the invasion of the territory of Belarus or Russia by the armed forces of Ukraine are sufficient grounds for a collective response,” Polishchuk told the state-run TASS news agency. agency.
Russia used Belarus as a springboard to invade Ukraine last February, deploying thousands of forces to its neighbor under the pretext of military exercises before launching its offensive.
The two sides have since come to an agreement to strengthen their military cooperation and plan to conduct joint aviation exercises in Belarus next week.
The drills fueled speculation that Moscow could use its close ally to launch a new offensive against Ukraine from the north in the near future, opening a new front.
But Ukrainian officials have dismissed the prospect of an attack from Belarus linked to the upcoming exercises.
“I would not associate these exercises of the Air Force, which will be on the territory of Belarus, with massive missile strikes,” the head of the Kyiv military administration, Sergei Popko, said on Friday.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that while Ukraine should be ready on its border with Belarus, “we understand that apart from strong statements, we don’t see anything strong there.”
Belarus supported Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, but has repeatedly rejected the possibility of joining the conflict.
According to Kyiv, Russia continues to use Belarusian airspace for drone and missile attacks.
Last month, Belarus summoned Ukraine’s ambassador to the country after it said Minsk shot down a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile in a field.
Ukraine’s defense ministry said it would investigate the incident and suggested it may have been a Russian provocation.
The missile had fallen as Russia shelled cities in Ukraine, in one of the biggest waves of attacks since the conflict began.
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