Belarus could send troops into Ukraine to support Russian invasion on Monday, US official says

Belarus also approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 28 February 2022 03:25 GMT
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Ukraine's foreign minister says country is 'bleeding, but inflicting disastrous losses on enemy'

Belarus could send troops into Ukraine to support the Russian invasion on Monday, a US official said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the former Soviet Republic has been used as a launching pad for the unprovoked attack.

“It’s very clear Minsk is now an extension of the Kremlin,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Washington Post on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, a referendum in Belarus approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status, which could now see the country getting Russian weapons.

The new constitution could see nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Mr Lukashenko said at a polling station that he could ask Vladimir Putin to return nuclear weapons to Belarus.

“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” Mr Lukashenko said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine and Russia would meet near the border with Belarus on Monday to have their first diplomatic talks since the invasion.

“We will be happy if the result of these negotiations is peace and the end of the war,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday.

“But I emphasise again, we will not give up. We will not capitulate. We will not give away an inch of our territory.”

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