Interview with U.S. National Broadcasting Company NBC

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an interview to the U.S. National Broadcasting Company NBC in Astana where he attended the CIS summit on 14 October.

The head of state was asked how Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts to the developments in Ukraine. “Doesn’t he seem to be tense, maybe nervous, under pressure?” the journalist asked noting that Russia is not yet winning in Ukraine.

“He is the President of a huge country. It always comes with some kind of pressure. I am telling you this as President. As for the Ukrainian conflict, you say that he is not winning there. Well, you are not winning this war, either. Fifty countries are actually fighting today against Russia on the territory of Ukraine. You are not scoring victories there. Therefore, it is necessary to look for ways out of this situation. And I must tell you that unlike you Westerners, President Putin has suggested solutions more than once. Apparently people just do not want to listen to him and hear him at the moment. But they should. This is our position as well. And, you know, the looming deadlock (this is where the developments in Ukraine will take us) is also acknowledged by some members of NATO. And not some, but many of them,” the Belarusian leader said.

In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko cited the example of Turkiye. The head of state met with Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the CICA summit in Astana the day before. “We agreed that in the near future we would hold high-level talks where we would also discuss Ukraine. I will pay a visit to Ankara. I noticed that President Erdogan, the leader of one of the key NATO members, is not happy about the ongoing developments. They do not even hint, but openly demand that it is necessary to sit down at the negotiating table and come to an agreement. The USA should get involved in this process instead of supplying the increasing number of the most sophisticated weapons to Ukraine,” the President said.

“In fact, no types of weapons, including American ones, will change the situation at the front lines,” the Belarusian leader added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was asked about the probability of the Russian President’s deciding to use nuclear weapons.

The Belarusian head of state noted: “Don’t back your partner or even an adversary into a corner. It is the key thing. This is why one must not cross those lines, the red lines as Russians put it. One must not cross them. As for nuclear weapons, any weapon is made for a purpose. If there is a weapon, it is clear that it is being made to be used. Russia has clearly identified its position: Russia will be able to use all kinds of weapons if god forbid, the territory of the Russian Federation is attacked.”

“As for the implication of your question, Russia’s leadership, including President Putin, has never intended to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. There is no need for that,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The President reminded that several days ago Russia used high-precision weapons to strike targets in Ukraine in response to actions concerning the Crimean bridge. “You have noticed that it was forceful. Quite a lot of force. But it is not everything there is. I know for a fact that Russia has cutting-edge kinds of weapons. There is no need for nuclear weapons. Russia can succeed without nuclear weapons,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.

Yet Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered who stands to benefit from hyping up the matter. “Not thousands but hundreds of thousands of people will die [if nuclear weapons are used]. On Ukraine’s side, too,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also pointed out that some leaders of nuclear powers had started talking about nuclear weapons. “I think Macron started touching upon this topic in the UK more than once. One must not even talk about this topic. It will be the end of the planet if only a single country resorts to nuclear weapons. Because it will cause a chain reaction. It is understood perfectly well in Russia. I emphasize one more time that I know it for a fact that nobody raises the question and nobody pushes for using nuclear weapons. I know it absolutely well,” the Belarusian leader stated.

“It is necessary to look for a peaceful solution to this conflict. It is beneficial for everyone, including the USA,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.

"Do you know who the main proponent of nuclear weapons is... Can you guess? I'll tell you. It is Poland. It provokes you, the United States, to take some action in terms of nuclear weapons. Don't fall for that trick. You are a large technological country. There is no need to dance to the tune of the politicians who have taken leave of their senses," the Belarusian head of state said.

"Nuclear weapons must remain in warehouses where they are. Because if only nuclear weapons are moved, let's say, to Poland, there will be a chain reaction. Reciprocal steps will follow. So don't go for it. We need to calm down and sit down at the negotiating table," he said.