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US warns Belarus over role in aiding potential Russia invasion of Ukraine

Russian troop movements towards Belarus and the potential for Moscow to deploy conventional or nuclear weapons have raised eyebrows in Washington, a senior State Department official told reporters in a phone briefing.

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The US said that Belarus could play a role in Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine, a senior State Department official revealed on Tuesday.

Russian troop movements towards Belarus and the potential for Moscow to deploy conventional or nuclear weapons have raised eyebrows in Washington, the US official told reporters in a phone briefing.

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“These movements are supposedly under the auspices of regularly scheduled joint military exercises,” but they are concerning, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The timing is notable and, of course, raises concerns that Russia could intend to station troops… in order potentially to attack Ukraine,” the official said.

Washington has said that Moscow stationed nearly 100,000 troops along the border with Ukraine ahead of plans to invade Ukraine further.
Russia denies these claims.

Separately, the US official blasted Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko for his grip on power for nearly three decades and doing anything to remain in power.

“He has been making trade-offs with the Kremlin, for the better part of 27 years [in power] at various points,” the official said.

Lukashenko announced on Monday that his army would carry out joint military exercises next month with Russia. He claimed the drills were decided last month and will be meant to simulate any aggressions “coming from the West.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Ukraine this week in a sign of the failing to reach a diplomatic solution with Moscow, preventing them from attacking Kyiv.

But the top US diplomat is also set to meet his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Friday.

Read more: No breakthrough after eight-hour talks between US, Russia on Ukraine

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