The authoritarian leader of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, tells Russian media that Western sanctions are pushing Russia toward a new world war.
“A great deal is being said about the banking sector. Gas, oil, SWIFT. It’s worse than war. Russia is being pushed toward a third world war. We should be very reserved and steer clear of it. Because nuclear war is the end of everything,” Lukashenko tells the Russian state media outlet Tass.
He says the US is the “sole beneficiary” of the war, and says Belarus and Moscow will enact “painful” sanctions against the West.
Lukashenko is a close ally to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Russian troops massed in Belarus ahead of the attack on Ukraine and invaded from Belarus territory. Missiles have also reportedly been fired from Belarus into Ukraine.
Russian state media has been widely discredited as pro-Russian propaganda during the war and has been sanctioned by leading online platforms.