Belarus: Lukashenko Seeks Peace But Prepares for War · Global Voices

The president stressed that it always aims at peace during his visit to Grodno at the border with Poland and Lithuania. “We don’t have to threaten anyone. We do not want any foreign territory,” Alexander Lukashenko said in statements transmitted by the presidential office in Belarus. “Do not believe anyone who says we want to fight,” Lukashenko said when laying the foundation stone for a hospital. However, he added: “We are preparing for war and I say this openly.” Lukashenko said Belarus is arming its army for the possibility of an attack, accusing NATO members, Poland and Lithuania, of preparing for war by building fortifications and buying offensive weapons, as he said. Belarusian president assured Grodno residents, which was Polish territory between wars, telling them: “You belong to us. We will not hand you over to anyone.” A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko allowed Belarus to be used to develop Russian forces for the invasion of Ukraine, which began in 2022. In Gomel, at the opposite end of Belarus, at the border with Russia and Ukraine, Belarusian National Guard began a three-day exercise to test the readiness of its officers, according to the Ministry of Defence in Minsk. There will be an exercise for recruiting volunteers for defense in times of war.