Moscow/ Kyiv: Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the process of Russia-Belarus unification has accelerated, given Western sanctions and NATO’s ongoing expansion. Besides, information has surfaced that Russian President Putin and Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko have met twice in the past week to discuss this unification.
Moreover, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu recently visited Belarus. A British daily has reported that Russia could use Ukraine to launch nuclear attacks as soon as the talks begin.
Last week, Belarusian President Lukashenko visited Russia. Russian President Putin arrived in Belarus a few days later. Before President Putin’s visit, other Russian leaders had also visited Belarus. All these moves are considered to be a sign of accelerating the Russia-Belarus unification process. Putin’s statement on Friday confirms this.
In 1997, Russia and Belarus signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement. Since then, there have been reports that Russian President Putin wants to annex Belarus to Russia. However, both countries have denied the allegations of annexure. After the uprising in Belarus last year, President Putin has backed Belarusian President Lukashenko. Russia-Belarus unification talks have since been outbroken.
The President of Belarus had demanded several advanced defence systems, including nuclear weapons from Russia. Belarus also declared its support for Russia in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Ukraine also claimed that Russia would launch an attack through Belarus. Since then, Belarus has allowed Russia to deploy troops and nuclear weapons – this has strengthened the possibility of a Russian attack.
Meanwhile, Russia launched a series of missile strikes on Friday on the Ukrainian city, Odessa. Ukrainian authorities say 19 people have died in that.