Russia has plans to annex Belarus, says former Ukrainian foreign minister Klimkin

Lukashenko understands that at some point Putin will carry out an operation to join Belarus into Russia, Pavlo Klimkin believes
Lukashenko understands that at some point Putin will carry out an operation to join Belarus into Russia, Pavlo Klimkin believes

At the same time, the diplomat noted that Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko had not yet "granted" the Russian dictator a final union of Belarus with Russia – "which would make Putin say: ‘Well, we are finally getting our Belarus back’.”

Read also: Almost 9,000 Russian military personnel to arrive in Belarus, says Belarusian defense ministry

Klimkin also stated that Putin does not trust Lukashenko, and understands that the Belarusian dictator "draws money from him" to keep the Belarusian economy afloat.

"And under the current sanctions, what can Belarus do economically?” the former Ukrainian minister asked.

Read also: Belarus has supplied Russia with 65,000 tons of ammunition

“Previously, it was a ‘black’, ‘gray’ channel for exporting goods to Russia. And now Lukashenko is well aware that economically and in terms of security it is a road to nowhere for him. And he also understands and feels with his animal sense of power that at some point Putin will conduct an operation to incorporate Belarus into Russia on terms of (making it a) federal district, or by some other means. I think that the plans are 100% ready in Russia.”

In April, Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence reported that it had received documents indicating that the 1st Tank Army of Russia was preparing to invade and seize the territory of Belarus.

Read also: In October, Belarus handed over 211 military vehicles to Russia

According to Ukrainian intelligence, after the falsification of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, the Russian army developed a plan to invade and suppress popular protests.

The occupation of Belarus was planned under the pretext of preventing Russia's involvement “in the European continental area in a regional or large-scale war with NATO member states in the West.”

Read also: Russia to send more tanks, ACVs to Belarus amid ‘threats to Union State’

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine