Lukashenko also said the West did not want an end to the conflict. “You are escalating this conflict today,” he said, directing his remarks at Western reporters at the news conference. The United States does not want peace, he said. “They’ve bent Europe over and are making it do it whatever they want.”
Lukashenko also criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying he should pursue “an independent policy” and distance himself from the United States and its allies. “He should not run around Western Europe asking for F-16s or some other fighter jets, long-range MLRS,” he said, referring to multiple-launch rocket systems. “He should think about how to stop the war, so that 100,000 to 300,000 Ukrainians do not die in it.”
Lukashenko’s three-hour news conference was portrayed by his office as a “surprise” event, following a press tour of the Belarusian border with Ukraine organized for national and international journalists.
But amid all the tough talk, Lukashenko reiterated his reluctance to get involved in the war. “We don’t want war,” he said. “We are in no way going to send our troops to Ukraine unless you commit aggression on Belarus from there. Here’s my answer. It was given a long time ago.”