Risk of military incidents on Belarus-Ukraine border quite high: Lukashenko

President also said there could be an ‘apocalypse’ if Russia used nuclear weapons in retaliation for Western actions.

FILE - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, center, gives a speech during a military parade that marked the 75th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany, in Minsk, Belarus, on May 9, 2020. Belarusians will cast ballots Sunday in tightly controlled parliamentary and local elections that are set to cement an authoritarian leader's rule, despite calls for a boycott by an opposition leader who described the balloting as a "senseless farce." (Belarusian Presidential Press Service via AP, File)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko gives a speech during a military parade [File: Belarusian Presidential Press Service via AP]

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that the risk of military incidents along his country’s border with Ukraine was quite high, according to Russia’s state-run RIA news agency.

Belarus had moved several combat-ready battalions from Vitebsk region, situated on its border with Russia, to the western limits of the country, he said on Thursday, as delegates of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly (VNS) unanimously approved a new military doctrine emphasising that Belarus is a peace-loving country.

Lukashenko added that neighbouring Poland – to the country’s west – should not expect aggressive actions from Belarus, the report said.

The updated document listed the countries from which threats emanate, the range of internal and external threats to military security, and the position on the use of tactical nuclear weapons, the report said without elaborating on the countries named.

Lukashenko, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has frequently talked up the dangers of an attack by NATO or Ukraine as justification for maintaining his military and security apparatus on a constant state of high alert.

The military doctrine declared Belarus’s readiness to act as a platform for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and its openness to cooperation in the military sphere with any states, including NATO, RIA reported.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko addresses the Belarusian People’s Congress in Minsk [Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus/Handout via Reuters]

Russian state news agency TASS quoted Lukashenko as saying there could be an “apocalypse” if Russia used nuclear weapons in retaliation for Western actions.

Russia has deployed tactical nuclear weapons, missiles and troops in the country.

At Thursday’s VNS meeting, Lukashenko alleged that the opposition planned to seize a district in the west of the country and request support from NATO troops, according to RIA.

“I don’t know why they chose Kobrin district, they talk a lot about it. [They plan to] seize it … and appeal to NATO to deploy troops,” Lukashenko claimed.

It was not clear if he provided any evidence for such a plan. All of the country’s main opposition figures are in prison or have been forced into exile.

Source: News Agencies