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HomeNewsDon't back Putin into a nuclear corner, Belarusian leader warns

Don’t back Putin into a nuclear corner, Belarusian leader warns

ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has a warning for the West: Don’t push Russian President Vladimir Putin right into a nook.

Russia has nuclear weapons for a cause and crossing Putin’s “crimson traces” in Ukraine can be a mistake, the strongman and shut Kremlin ally mentioned in an unique interview Friday.

“When you again an individual or a rustic into the nook, there is just one method out — ahead,” Lukashenko advised NBC’s Keir Simmons on the sidelines of a regional summit of post-Soviet leaders in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. “That’s why don’t cross crimson traces, you can not cross them.” 

Requested if his Russian counterpart was ready to make use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Lukashenko struck an apocalyptic tone, but additionally downplayed the opportunity of nuclear arms use as not crucial and suicidal.

“If there may be, God forbid, an assault on the territory of the Russian Federation, Russia can, if crucial, use every kind of weapons,” he mentioned. “By no means, by no means has President Putin or the Russian management set a objective to make use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”

Lukashenko as a substitute pointed to this week’s huge barrage of Russian missile strikes in opposition to civilian and demanding infrastructure in Ukraine for instance of what Moscow is ready to do if backed right into a nook.

The strikes, which noticed cruise missiles destroy buildings, bridges and energy stations — in addition to kill civilians — had been introduced by the Russian authorities as retaliation for final weekend’s blast that broken a key bridge to annexed Crimea.

“You most likely seen that was highly effective, nevertheless it’s not every little thing,” Lukashenko mentioned of the Russian response. “Russia, and I do know this for positive, possesses probably the most trendy weapons. And also you don’t want nuclear weapons. Russia will cope with out them.”

The Kremlin has stoked rising nuclear fears as its army retreats on the battlefield and disquiet grows at residence. Putin proclaimed the annexation of 4 Ukrainian areas final month and urged he was ready to guard that territory by any means crucial. 

Russian state tv commentators have at occasions brazenly urged Moscow use nuclear weapons to cement its grip over these newly claimed territories, usually nodding to the formal tenets of the nation’s nuclear doctrine — that it reserves the proper to make use of nuclear power in response to direct assaults on its territory. 

However the Belarusian chief as a substitute urged that the nuclear pressure was politically motivated by the West and Ukraine, and that Russia has little interest in escalating the battle to the extent of a nuclear change — regardless of how restricted.

“This might be the tip of our planet,” Lukashenko mentioned.

“If nuclear weapons are used even by one nation, it can trigger a series response. Russia understands this nicely. And nobody, I need to underscore this, I do know it for positive from President Putin himself, nobody has set a objective of utilizing nuclear weapons.”

As an alternative, Lukashenko mentioned, “we have to search for methods to discover a peaceable resolution to this battle. It might be helpful for everybody, together with the U.S.”

Keir Simmons reported from Astana, and Matt Bodner reported from London.

Natasha Lebedeva and Carlo Angerer contributed.

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