Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs has issued a statement in response to claims that it could be planning an attack on Belarus.
Belarus’s authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has voiced his support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in recent months.
Belarus relies financially and politically on Russia – Putin’s backing of Lukashenko helped him to ride-out an international backlash following his crackdown on anti-government protests in 2020.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it deployed thousands of troops to Belarus under the pre-text of military drills, before sending them across the border.
Ukraine’s MFA said that its ambassador in the Belarusian capital Minsk was invited to the foreign affairs ministry of Belarus and handed a diplomatic note.
“In the note, the Belarusian side claimed that Ukraine is allegedly planning an attack on the territory of Belarus.
“This information does not correspond to reality.
“We categorically reject yet another insinuation of the Belarusian regime.
“We do not rule out that the handing over of the diplomatic note may be part of the plan of the Russian Federation to carry out a provocation to further accuse Ukraine.
“We call on the Belarusian people not to succumb to provocations.
“Ukraine has never encroached on foreign territories. We strictly adhere to the fundamental norms and principles of international law and the UN Charter.
“The authorities in Belarus should stop following the whims of the Kremlin and immediately stop supporting Russia in its aggression against Ukraine.”
US ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink has also weighed in, tweeting: “Let’s be clear about who’s attacking whom – Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and launches strikes that kill men, women, and children while they sleep, and Belarus allows its territory to be used in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
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