Putin, Lukashenko ‘in constant contact’ amid war games in Russia and Belarus

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was in “constant contact” with Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko amid speculation the Kremlin is pushing its Minsk ally to open a new front against Ukraine and increasing the pressure on Moscow’s besieged troops to reduce the south and east of the war-torn nation.

Putin met with Lukashenko on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth of Independent States summit in St. Petersburg, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported. The Russian President told journalists that the meeting was informal but included discussions about “serious issues”.

Putin and Lukashenko in Minsk December
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (R) are pictured during the welcoming ceremony at the Palace of Independence December 19, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus. There have been rumors that Moscow is trying to get its ally Belarus to fight Ukraine on a different front.
Contributor/Getty Images

“You and I are in constant contact. Nevertheless, life gives us daily opportunities to discuss various problems and make the necessary decisions so that they can be solved effectively,” Putin told Lukashenko.

The two respective governments, Putin said, are working “quite hard” to expand bilateral cooperation. “I know the Chief of Cabinet has told you [Russian Prime Minister] Mikhail Mishustin told me about the interactions in detail,” he added.

“We already have a lot to talk about. Therefore, I am pleased that we have this opportunity to meet on the sidelines of our informal summit and once again discuss issues of common interest.”

While the two dictators were meeting in St. Petersburg, Russian and Belarusian troops were conducting military drills in Belarus that Ukrainian leaders fear could be used as a smoke screen to prevent a genuine invasion of Ukraine from the north by a joint Russian- prepare Belarusian troops.

The Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday that the troops participating in the drills “had joint combat training to practice tactical elements, the use of weapons, medical and technical skills, and driving combat vehicles over rough terrain,” Tass reported. The scenario simulated an offensive to capture an enemy-held bridge and then encircle and destroy the opposing force.

A sudden surge in military exercises and other activity in Belarus has prompted speculation that Minsk may soon throw its forces into the 10-month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite predictions by experts that an invasion across the Belarus-Ukraine border is likely Failure to do so would be very costly and at the same time undermine Lukashenko’s hold on power.

Putin’s visit to Minsk on December 19 raised further suspicions that Moscow is stepping up its push for Minsk to join military action in Ukraine.

In early December, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said leaders in Kyiv “need to worry” about Belarusian military maneuvers and that Belarus is not a “friendly neighbor.” On December 20, Reznikov said the threat of invasion remained.

Belarus has been instrumental in supporting Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Russian troops used Belarusian military bases and airfields in their ill-fated offensive in northern Ukraine in the spring, retreating there in April when the push to Kyiv failed.

Minsk has also sent ammunition and military vehicles, including tanks, to Russia for use in Ukraine; has offered its hospitals to treat Russian soldiers wounded in the fighting; and allowed the use of its territory and airspace to launch Russian drones and missiles against Ukrainian targets.

https://www.newsweek.com/vladimir-putin-alexander-lukashenko-constant-contact-russia-belarus-war-games-ukraine-1769893 Putin, Lukashenko ‘in constant contact’ amid war games in Russia and Belarus

Rick Schindler

World Time Todays is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@worldtimetodays.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button