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US warns Belarus may be about to join Russia’s campaign in Ukraine

(Dan Tri) – US and NATO officials have warned that Belarus may be about to join Russia in the military campaign in Ukraine.

The US warned that Belarus may be about to join the Russian campaign in Ukraine - 1

A Russian paratrooper participates in joint drills in Belarus on February 17, 2022 (Photo: AFP).

An official military NATO said on March 22 that it was “increasingly likely” that Belarus would join Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. “Russian President Vladimir Putin needs support,” the official said.

According to an opposition source in Belarus, Belarusian combat units are ready to enter Ukraine in the next few days, with thousands of troops preparing to be deployed.

A senior NATO intelligence official revealed that the alliance assessed that the Belarusian government “is preparing the context to explain a Belarusian attack on Ukraine”.

A NATO military official said a final decision on Belarus’s participation in the Moscow operation had not yet been made. There is currently no indication that Belarusian forces are engaged in fighting in Ukraine.

“Involvement (in the war) will destabilize Belarus,” the NATO official warned.

The NATO official did not specify how Belarus might intervene in the Ukraine conflict, but suggested that Russia might seek to cut off NATO military aid to Ukraine from its western border.

Russia and Belarus have not yet commented on the above comments.

Moscow is said to have brought a part of Russian military forces from Belarus into Ukraine to conduct a military operation there. Earlier, thousands of Russian troops gathered in Belarus for joint military exercises, despite Western objections. US and European sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine target both Russian and Belarusian officials, including Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine Alexey Danilov earlier this month claimed that Kiev could carry out “pre-emptive” missile strikes against neighboring Belarus. The threat was made in the context of Ukraine accusing the Belarusian army of participating in a special military operation launched by Russia in Ukraine. President Lukashenko allowed the Russian military to use Belarusian territory to enter Ukraine from the north.

However, the President of Belarus confirmed that the country’s army did not participate in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. He said the Belarusian army is still stationed at bases and permanent facilities. Lukashenko warned Ukraine not to threaten Belarus, and stated that Belarus was ready to defend itself if necessary.

Belarusian voters on February 27 approved a constitutional reform that would allow the country to become a nuclear weapons site. This move would likely pave the way for nuclear weapons to return to Belarusian territory since they abandoned them after the collapse of the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago.

Earlier, President Lukashenko said that Belarus could allow Russia to place “weapons even super nuclear weapons” on its territory if it felt threatened.

“But without threats to Belarus from unfriendly countries, nuclear weapons would not need to be located here for hundreds of years,” Lukashenko stressed.

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