Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday that his army had shot down missiles fired from Ukraine at Belarus, amid speculation of Minsk’s growing involvement in the conflict between kyiv and Moscow.
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“We are provoked. I have to tell you that about three days ago, maybe more, there was an attempt from Ukraine to hit military targets in Belarus. Praise be to God, our Pantsir anti-aircraft systems intercepted all missiles fired by Ukrainian forces,” he said, quoted by state news agency Belta.
“I repeat to you, as I said more than a year ago, we do not intend to fight in Ukraine”, he however assured.
Since the attack on the Kremlin against Ukraine on February 24, Belarus, an ally of Russia, has served as a rear base for Russian forces.
Russian troops had notably set off from Belarus to try to take the capital kyiv, before giving up at the end of March in the face of Ukrainian resistance and withdrawing.
Mr. Lukashenko’s regime, under heavy Western sanctions, is very dependent militarily and economically on Russia.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would deliver “in the coming months” to Belarus Iskander-M missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.