Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Belarus leader accuses NATO of building bases during annual exercises in Ukraine

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, in a joint backlash with the Kremlin, has accused the United States of setting up bases while conducting an annual military exercise in Ukraine involving thousands of soldiers from NATO member states.

Ukraine, along with service members from more than a dozen countries, began Rapid Trident 21—an annual Ukrainian-led, US-assisted training exercise—on September 20 to enhance combat preparedness and defense capabilities.

“You see, they’re pulling NATO troops there, into Ukraine. They’re actually building bases under the guise of training centers. The United States is building bases in Ukraine. It’s clear that we need to react to this. The authoritarian leader said at a meeting with officials at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Minsk on September 27.

“The Russian President and I have discussed this issue and agreed that some action should be taken there.

“Otherwise, tomorrow we will have an unacceptable situation on the border between Belarus and Russia.”

The allegation comes after a massive joint strategic military exercise by Russia and Belarus earlier this month. The exercise, called Zapad-2021, alarmed the West and in particular Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Kremlin said that Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO but has pushed for permission to join the North Atlantic Treaty, would cross one of President Vladimir Putin’s “red lines” if it were to join the United States. Allows U.S. to set up training center as one. Disguise for a Western military alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and athletes, participants of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, attend a meeting in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with athletes, participants of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, in Moscow on September 11, 2021. (Sputnik/Evgeny Byatov/Kremlin via Reuters)

“President Putin has repeatedly addressed the issue of possible expansion of NATO infrastructure in Ukrainian territory, and [he] Said it would cross the red lines they’ve said before,” the Kremlin said.

Ukraine has rejected the statement and the notion of a Russian “red line”, saying it will set its own security policy and that Russia should only worry about issues inside Russia’s borders.

“Putin’s ‘red lines’ are limited to Russia’s borders,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dimitro Kulebas wrote on Twitter. “On our side of the Ukrainian-Russian border, we can find ourselves figuring out what to do in the interest of the security of the Ukrainian people as well as Ukraine and Europe.”

Belarus has faced several rounds of sanctions from the West, including from the United States, after Lukashenko cracked down on mass protests following a disputed election in August 2020.

Reuters contributed to this report.

from ntd news

Lorenz Duchamps

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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