“No conspiracy”: Belarusian President Lukashenko dismisses speculation over military exercises

The recent movement of Belarusian armed forces is not part of a plan to get involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday.

“We have been having and are having exercises. Now they are more extensive because of the current situation and threats. Therefore, we are conducting exercises on our territory,” said Lukashenko, according to a statement published on his official website.

“That’s it. No other intent, no conspiracy,” he added.

Earlier in December, Belarus announced snap military drills across the country and a Russian delegation led by Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Belarus to meet Lukashenko.

This sparked speculation that Putin might try to convince Lukashenko to help him in the war against Ukraine. Belarus shares a 674-mile border with Ukraine.

Belarusian territory was used as a platform by Russian troops during the invasion in February, but the country’s troops have so far not taken part in the conflict.

Recent troop movements were a response to increased tensions, said Lukashenko.

“We cannot rule out that aggression may be deployed against our country,” he said. “At least, we see such a readiness on the part of our neighbors.”

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