Belarusian President Lukashenko said in a meeting with the Grodno state legislator that NATO forces are gathering at the Belarusian border.
Lukashenko came to power after Belarus became independent from the Soviet Union and has been the President of Belarus since 1994. He declared his sixth election victory on August 10. Afterward, large-scale public protests broke out across Belarus. Protesters accused the election of fraud.
Lukashenko on the 16th accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the western border to build up troops to force him to re-election, but he vowed not to give in. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenko held long telephone talks on the 15th of this month to discuss in detail the situation after the presidential election in Belarus. The two sides agreed that the Russian side would provide full security assistance to Belarus as long as it made a request to the Russian side in the face of external military threats.
Lukashenko pointed out that NATO fighter jets have been deployed where they can fly to the Belarusian border in 15 to 20 minutes. He said: “We understood this when they announced the exercise in 2019. The coronavirus slowed them down a little bit. But now, when they think the internal situation in our country is unstable, they turn to active action. All troops have been deployed in place— —We know this. Therefore, I have to order the army to enter a state of full combat readiness.”
Lukashenko said getting the White Russian armed forces into full readiness and mobilizing troops to the West was “the most important decision in a quarter of a century.” However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on August 17th that NATO posed no threat to Belarus. At the same time, he denied that NATO was sending more troops to the region. The current anti-Lukashenko demonstrations in White Russia are no longer a single issue in their own country, but the latest political issue related to the game between NATO and the European Union and Russia. The subsequent progress of this major event is particularly to be seen.