Lukashenko invites Biden to Belarus to thrash out Ukraine peace deal with Putin
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday he would invite his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, to hammer out a Ukraine peace deal with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
"We will solve all the problems here," Lukashenko told journalists.
The Belarusian leader made his remarks during what Belarus authorities described as an impromptu news conference for visiting international media, which lasted over three hours.
According to Lukashenko, instead of visiting Belarus, Biden would be coming to Poland ahead of the anniversary of what Russia calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.
He accused Poland of trying to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
Lukashenko also alleged that a missile strike against Belarus from the territory of Ukraine was being prepared, but added that he was not going to call up reservists in Belarus and that the Belarusian army would join Russian forces only if foreign troops set foot on Belarusian soil.
" Russia never asked us to join fight against Ukraine "
Lukashenko also said on Thursday that Moscow had never asked Belarus to join its "special military operation" in Ukraine, Belarus's state-run Belta news agency reported.
"Russia never asked us to start a war together against Ukraine. Russia knows very well that I have lots of problems in areas around Brest, Grodno and in northern areas (bordering) with Lithuania," Lukashenko said.
" will give you no such chance (to involve Belarus in war). But should you dare to set a foot on our soil, the response will be terrifying. The Westerners know which (response it will be) and which weapons would be used. A terrifying response," he added.
Russia used its ally Belarus as a staging post for sending tens of thousands of troops and pieces of military hardware into Ukraine from Belarus last February for its failed offensive on Kyiv.