Lukashenko reaffirms willingness to send peacekeepers to Donbas provided agreement between Russian, Ukrainian leaders
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has reaffirmed his willingness to order a Belarusian peacekeeping contingent sent to Ukraine provided an agreement on the matter between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia.
"Belarusian peacekeepers are ready to stand between the conflicting parties in Ukraine provided there is an agreement between [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," the Belarusian state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying.
If Belarus were asked to play some role in settling the conflict in Ukraine, it would do all it could without taking sides, he said.
"I've even told both presidents, Poroshenko and Putin: don't expect me to side with anyone. I will strictly implement what you, the two presidents, agree on: if you want me to stand between, I will, and if you agree that 10,000 armed Belarusian troops should be deployed, we'll put them on the border wherever you say," he said.
"But I can't do something you don't agree on," he said.
Lukashenko recalled that Belarus had made its proposals on settling the conflict in Donbas shortly after it erupted, but these proposals had not been accepted by high-ranking officials in Brussels at the time.
"And I believe now that a lot of Europeans are interested in this conflict, no matter what kind of peacekeepers they pretend to be. If they had accepted this, there would have been an option," Lukashenko said.
"Now they've revisited partly what I've proposed, like, let's also include the Belarusians - NATO has proposed that - because Russia seems to trust them," he said.