Ukrainian intelligence suggests that Belarus is prepared to join the Russian invasion

Ukrainian intelligence suggests that Belarus is prepared to join the Russian invasion

A Ukrainian government official told CNN that Ukrainian intelligence indicates that Belarus is “ready to participate perhaps directly” in the invasion of Ukraine, “in addition to allowing the Russians to use their territory and cross border”.

A second source close to the Ukrainian government told CNN that in addition to Ukrainian intelligence, the Biden administration has also conveyed to the Ukrainian government that Belarus is preparing to join the Russian invasion.

The intelligence sparked new concern within the Biden administration. A senior administration official said the White House is closely watching the actions taken by Belarus and is prepared to impose further sanctions on the country.

In a sign of growing turmoil in the region, the United States announced on Monday that it would suspend operations at its embassy in Belarus.

The Washington Post first reported that Belarus (also known as Belarus) was preparing to send soldiers to Ukraine, citing a US administration official. The White House declined to comment. CNN has reached out to the US State Department for comment.

Talks began Monday between Russia and Ukraine near the border with Belarus as Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine enters its fifth day.

A senior Biden administration official says the White House is closely watching actions taken by Belarus and is prepared to impose more sanctions on the country amid reports that Belarusian forces could join Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

“We have said that as long as Belarus continues to aid and abet Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, it will also face consequences,” the senior administration official said. “We’ve already put some of those measures in place. Those costs will continue to rise much higher.” The US Treasury Department issued sanctions against 24 Belarusian individuals and entities last week.

Announcing the decision to suspend operations at the US Embassy in Belarus, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited the “unprovoked and unwarranted attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine,” but he did not point out any intelligence information about possible military action by Belarus. Non-emergency employees and their family members will also be allowed to leave the US Embassy in Moscow, Blinken said.

‘If required’

Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko said last week that Belarusian troops could join the invasion “if necessary.”

“Our troops are not participating in any way in this operation. We are not going to justify ourselves here about our participation or non-participation in this conflict. I repeat one more time. Our troops are not there but if necessary, if Belarus and Russia need them, they will be there,” Lukashenko said in a tape on the YouTube channel of the state-run Belta news agency.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to Belarusians as “neighbors” on Sunday.

“Belarusians, this is also a referendum for you. You decide who you are and who you will become. How you would look in the eyes of your children. How you would look in the eyes of others. In the eyes of your neighbors. And we we are your neighbors,” he said.

Zelensky’s office said Lukashenko called the Ukrainian president on Sunday to discuss Monday’s meeting.

“Politicians agreed that the Ukrainian delegation will meet the Russian delegation without preconditions at the Ukraine-Belarus border near the Pripyat River,” Zelensky’s office said. “Aleksander Lukashenko has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the trip, meeting and return of the Ukrainian delegation.”

Belarus announced on Sunday that the country had renounced its non-nuclear status in a referendum that day. According to the Central Election Commission of Belarus, 78.63% of the population eligible to vote participated in Sunday’s referendum, of which 65.16% voted in favor of approving a new constitution that will eliminate the country’s non-nuclear status. and will give Lukashenko the chance to run for two additional terms in office.

In theory, the new constitution could allow Russia to put nuclear weapons back in Belarus for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, when Belarus gave up its arsenal and became a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Amendments and additions to the constitution approved in Sunday’s referendum will take effect within 10 days, according to Lukashenko’s office.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.