Alexander Lukashenko, one of the few world leaders to still back the Kremlin, is now trying to cast himself as peacemaker
MINSK—Nearly a year into the war in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues to back his ally Vladimir Putin, saying that he would again let the Russian president to use Belarus to stage further attacks on Ukraine—though would only send troops of his own if Belarusian forces were attacked.
Speaking in a rare question-and-answer session with Western and Belarusian journalists Thursday, Mr. Lukashenko also presented himself as a potential peacemaker in the conflict, offering to host a meeting between President Biden and Mr. Putin when the U.S. leader visits Poland next week.
“I will persuade the president of Russia to come. I invite him too to Minsk, as well as Biden,” the Belarusian leader said. “We will sit down and reach an agreement.”
Mr. Lukashenko called the news briefing before he is scheduled to travel to Moscow to meet with Mr. Putin in Moscow on Friday. Some analysts interpreted the unusual invitation as an attempt to cast himself as an honest broker at home, where the conflict has worsened Belarus’s longstanding economic problems and added to widespread wariness over what his government might do following a sweeping crackdown on dissent after a disputed election in 2020.
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