Western support for the idea, however, is required, the Belarusian president says
If the Western powers back a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, hostilities between Moscow and Kiev's forces could be over in just a few days, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said on Friday, urging European countries "to come to your senses" and stop the bloodshed.
Belarus considers the fighting between the "fraternal peoples" of Ukraine and Russia to be a "huge tragedy," Lukashenko said, speaking at a presentation of letters of credence by foreign ambassadors in Minsk.
"This conflict is a direct consequence of strategic intrigues and the greatest stupidity, displayed primarily by Western politicians," he stated.
However, some actors, including EU countries, say they would like the hostilities to end, Lukashenko said, adding: "If the Europeans sincerely want this, peace can be achieved within a few days." He urged the Western powers to "come to your senses" and "do everything to ensure that there is peace on this earth."
The Belarusian president also said that Belarus has always supported diplomatic efforts in resolving the conflict, noting that his country hosted three rounds of Ukraine-Russia talks. He was referring to negotiations that took place in late February and early March, days after Russia launched its military operation. These diplomatic efforts failed to put an end to the hostilities.
"Why were the negotiations wrapped up, who did this? This is a rhetorical question," he said, addressing the ambassadors. "Someone needs this bloodshed. Who? You, diplomats, figure it out," he added.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and "create powerful armed forces."
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.