Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Russia, Belarus Issue Joint 'Red Line' Warning Against NATO Expanding Into Ukraine

Russia & Belarus Issue Joint "Red Line" Warning Alleging NATO Base Expansion Into Ukraine


Fresh off major joint war games two weeks ago, Russia and Belarus are now issuing parallel statements warning Ukraine against pursuing a path to NATO membership or hosting NATO forces and bases, agreeing that for both countries it would be a "red line". Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin just met in a summit in Sochi.

First, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko alleged the United States has established training centers across Ukraine that are tantamount to full military bases. He indicated this was focus of direct discussions with Putin at the Sochi meeting.

"It's clear we need to react to this...(We) agreed that we need to take some kind of measures in response," Lukashenko said according to RIA news agency. Crucially, the recent 'Zapad-2021' exercises this month saw Russian and Belarus troops focus the war games on a scenario of expelling a NATO invasion.

Lukashenko's words prompted follow-up by the Kremlin on Monday, which confirmed that Putin agrees that any NATO expansion of military infrastructure inside Ukraine would indeed be a "red line" - as Reutersrelates of the strong statements

The Kremlin warned on Monday that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine would cross one of President Vladimir Putin's "red lines", and Belarus said it had agreed to take action with Moscow to counter growing NATO activity.

International reporters specifically asked Russian officials about Lukashenko's threat of joint "action", to which the Kremlin responded: "These are actions that ensure the security of the two of our states."

"President Putin has repeatedly noted the issue of the potential broadening of NATO infrastructure on Ukrainian territory, and (he) has said this would cross those red lines that he has spoken about before," the Kremlin clarified. 

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