Michael Carpenter recalls the past statements of Minsk, which promised not to become a base for aggression against a neighboring country.

The U.S. representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Ambassador Michael Carpenter, expressed concern about the recent statements by Alexander Lukashenko and the military command in Minsk about the possibility of joint actions with Russia against Ukraine.

“Belarus is a member of the OSCE, and in the past they have repeatedly stated that they will never allow their country to serve as a launching pad for an invasion of a neighboring country. Now their rhetoric has changed somewhat, which is extremely worrying,” Michael Carpenter said.

“We believe that there may be up to 30,000 Russian military personnel in Belarus along with short-range ballistic missiles and other types of equipment, and in fact it can become a launching pad for a potential invasion,” the U.S. ambassador to the OSCE said.

According to him, the United States is “very closely monitoring” the development of the military situation in Belarus: “We are monitoring the situation very closely. The statements of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus about the purpose of these exercises, which frankly do not correspond to the real situation on the southern border of Belarus, are very alarming, and the reality is that there is no threat from Ukraine. Therefore, I think that all this deserves very careful observation,” concluded Michael Carpenter.

Last weekend, Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with Russian state television that “in the event of a war between Ukraine and Donbas,” the Belarusian army will act “exactly like the Russian one,” while mentioning the southern border of Belarus.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus officially mentioned the “tension at the western and southern borders” of the country in the context of the joint exercises with Russia “Allied Resolve – 2022,” starting in Belarus on February 10.