Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Ihor Kizima said that he had attended the meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko, where the latter assured that there would not be any military aggression against Ukraine from the territory of Belarus.
See also: Lukashenko assures Russian-Belarussian military exercise West-2017 not to turn into invasion of Ukraine
”We believe in what Alexander Lukashenko said. He clearly voiced his position clearly that Belarusian land will never become a springboard for aggression against Ukraine,” Kizima said in an interview with RFE/RL.
According to the Ambassador, the problem lays with the actions of another participant to the large-scale West-2017 exercises, which is Russia.
”As an expert who witnessed the initial events related to Russia`s aggression against Ukraine, I am convinced that the main question here is how much Russia can adhere to what it says,” Kizima said.
”If Russia now says that it will bring its troops here and then withdraw them, I will say with Stanislavsky`s words that ”I don`t believe it.”
”It`s rather a question to Russia. If the Belarusian side has such vision that Russia will behave correctly in this case, (deploy troops to Belarus and then withdraw them), I believe President Lukashenko`s words, but I don`t trust the Russians, because from the very beginning of the aggression against Ukraine there have been total lies and misinformation on their part. What we have now is a situation developed because Russia behaved wrongfully and politically incorrect.”
As a security expert, Ambassador Kizima says that, looking at the situation from a purely military perspective, Russia doesn`t even have to form a bridgehead in Belarus, as powerful military groups have already been deployed on the Russian side at the Ukrainian border. Therefore, this is more a question of the security of Belarus itself, the Ukrainian ambassador to Minsk said.
He added that Kyiv had received assurances from the Belarusian side that the Ukrainian military, including the military attache of the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk, could observe the West-2017 exercise.
See also: Lukashenko under Kremlin pressure: Russia may prepare for construction of military base in Belarus