There is “no way” Belarus will send troops to Ukraine unless the country is attacked, the country's President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday.
“We are peaceful people we know what war is and we don’t want war,” Lukashenko said at a press conference in Minsk at the Palace of Independence, attended by reporters from selected news outlets including CNN.
“There is no way we are going to send our troops to Ukraine unless you are going to commit aggression against Belarus," added Lukashenko. “But don’t forget Russia is our ally, legally, morally and politically.”
Lukashenko added that Russia has “never asked” him to start a joint war in Ukraine.
Some context: Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two countries maintain a joint grouping of military forces.
Russia used Belarusian territory as one of its entry points for the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Joint military drills over the last year have contributed to concerns that Belarusian troops could join Russia's forces in Ukraine, but Lukashenko has repeatedly dismissed speculation that his troops would join the fighting in Ukraine.