Belarusian Emergency Minister Vadim Sinyavsky said Monday that its ministry is all set to aid other ministries if any armed conflict breaks out or any uprising takes place within the state, as President Alexander Lukashenko earlier called on every citizen to respond to any kind of aggression.
“Employees will be ready to assist the ministries in the event of an armed conflict or some kind of riots in which a significant number of personnel must be involved,” the minister Sinyavsky told State Belarus 1.
President Belarus earlier stated that “every man, and not only a man” is needed who is able to at least handle weapons to respond to an act of aggression.
Though Belarus did not send its own military to join the Russian special military operation in Ukraine that commenced in February 2022, the President allowed his long-term ally Moscow to use its territory for its military purposes and enter the neighbouring country.
Since the operation began, Belarus and Russia organised several joint military training exercises, and in June President Lukashenko allowed his country to be used as a base for Moscow’s nuclear weapons.
This move was broadly criticised by the Western countries urging Minsk and Moscow to refrain from such acts.
Lukashenko has also frequently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the latest two-day trip of the Belarusian president to Moscow ending Monday, where the two leaders talked about a “strategic partnership.”
Russia and Belarus are linked in a partnership called the “union state” in which Moscow is by far the dominant player.
The perception that Lukashenko, a pariah in the West, depends on Putin for his survival had fanned fears in Kyiv that Putin would pressure him to join a fresh ground offensive and open a new front in Russia’s operation against Kiyv.
Putin met for the first time with his ally Alexander Lukashenko — after Wagner’s failed mutiny late last month — for two-day talks as he helped mediate a deal between the private mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“There is no counteroffensive,” Lukashenko said during the meeting before being interrupted by Putin: “There is one, but it has failed.”
Both leaders met hours after the Russian army had struck Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa.
In a sign of the importance of the meeting, Putin said at that time that he had “changed some of my plans so that talks with Lukashenko could last two days.”