Lithuania urges NATO to take note of threat from Belarus due to war in Ukraine
Gitanas Nausėda (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)
Lithuania has urged NATO to pay more attention to the role of Belarus in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Lithuania's President Gitanas Nausėda said in an interview with Lithuanian Current Time TV channel on Nov. 21.
"It's obvious that Belarus takes part in the invasion of Ukraine,” Nausėda said. “Russia can do with it as it pleases, move Russian forces both (to the) west and south of the country. There are Russian combat forces (there) that are ready to fight in Ukraine right now.”
Nausėda said these soldiers could also be sent to the western border of Belarus, where the country borders NATO members Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.
"We have to think about that,” Nausėda said. “That was the reason I called on the NATO secretary general and NATO committees to pay more attention to Belarus' role in this war.”
"We have over 600 kilometers (400 miles) of border with Belarus. So far, we've seen hybrid attacks only, such as illegal migrants. We've finished a fence along the border and stopped it for now. But no fence would be helpful against missiles."
Since the beginning of the invasion, Russia has attacked Ukraine with missiles launched from the territory of Belarus, or from aircraft flying in Belarusian airspace.
In addition, Russia launches drone strikes from Belarus, in particular from the air base in the Brest Oblast.
Belarus was also the starting point for two Russian invasion thrusts into Ukraine on Feb. 24, on either side of the Dnipro River.
Belarusian dictator Lukashenko on Oct. 4 acknowledged that Belarus was participating in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
"As for our participation in the special military operation in Ukraine – we are taking part in it,” Lukashenko said.
“We’re not hiding it. But we’re not killing anyone. We’re not sending our military anywhere.”
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