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Belarus warns of 'nuclear' war over continued Western military support to Kiev

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has warned of a third world war over Western military support for Ukraine and after he agreed to station Russian nuclear weapons in his country (Photo by Reuters)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday warned the continued Western support for Ukraine is increasing the likelihood of a nuclear war breaking out in the former Soviet republic as well as igniting the third World War.

The 68-year-old ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, expecting dialogue and diplomacy to replace violence and exchange of fire.

"As a result of the efforts of the United States and its satellites, a full-scale war has been unleashed in (Ukraine) ... a third world war with nuclear fires looms on the horizon," he said during a televised address to lawmakers and people.

Lukashenko said there should be no preconditions for a ceasefire and warned Ukraine against launching a counter-offensive, saying it would make negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv impossible.

The close Kremlin ally, Lukashenko also called for a "truce" in Ukraine and for talks "without preconditions" between the warring sides.

"I'll take the risk of suggesting an end of hostilities... a declaration of a truce," he said during a state of the nation address. "All territorial, reconstruction, security and other issues can and should be settled at the negotiation table, without preconditions."

Lukashenko further said that Russia is planning to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of his country, where there’s a strong opportunity to safeguard Belarus from western threats.

Putin said on Saturday that Russia would station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, its first deployment of nuclear armaments outside its borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“From April 3, we start crew training, and on July 1 we are finishing the construction of a special repository for tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus,” said Putin.

Belarus shares its borders with both Russia and Ukraine, and Poland lies towards its west.

To the north of these countries is Finland, which has become the latest addition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and would be added as a formal member within days, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

"I look forward to raising Finland's flag at NATO HQ in the coming days. Together we are stronger and safer," Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

With Finland being added to the list of the NATO club, it will become as the second country with NATO forces sharing its borders with Russia.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

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