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Belarusian dictator for Ukraine peace talks | SN.at

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Belarusian dictator for Ukraine peace talks |  SN.at

The authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, believes the time is ripe for peace talks in the Ukraine war. The front was deadlocked and the conditions for peace talks were in place, the Russian state agency TASS quoted him as saying on Thursday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj meanwhile accused Russia of wanting to prevent the international peace conference planned for June in Switzerland.

Lukashenko is closely allied with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who launched the all-out war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February 2022. Proposals that were discussed between Russian and Ukrainian representatives in Turkey in the first weeks of the war could serve as a starting point for negotiations, Lukashenko said. At the same time, the autocrat warned that there was a risk of “the end of the world” if Russia used nuclear weapons in retaliation for Western actions. Russia has repeatedly warned that Western support for Ukraine could lead to direct confrontation with Russia and trigger a nuclear conflict.

According to Lukashenko, several dozen tactical nuclear weapons from Russia have been stationed in Belarus. This happened as part of the agreement that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in 2023. Belarus said in June that it had begun delivering the weapons. It is the first time that Russia has deployed nuclear missiles in a foreign country since the Soviet era.

According to Zelenskyj, Russia wants to prevent a planned international peace conference in Switzerland. When making this statement to Ukrainian diplomats and foreign ambassadors in Kiev, Zelensky cited intelligence information. There is “concrete data that Russia not only wants to disrupt the peace summit, but also has a concrete plan,” the president said on Wednesday evening.

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The plan is about how to reduce the number of countries taking part in the conference or “how to proceed to ensure that there is no peace for a long time,” said Zelensky. The head of state said, according to his presidential office, that partners would be informed about Moscow’s attempts through diplomatic channels. “We must act together against this, we must work together for a just peace.” World leaders should soon receive invitations to the meeting, the president announced.

Neutral Switzerland is planning a peace conference on Ukraine on June 15th and 16th near Lucerne. It takes place directly after the G7 summit of leading democratic industrialized countries in Italy. The conference with up to 80 states is intended to win over Russia-friendly powers such as India, South Africa and Brazil to Ukraine’s ideas for a peace solution. China in particular is being wooed to take part.

Russia has been waging war on Ukraine for more than two years and has declared all talks without its participation pointless. Moscow repeatedly asserts its willingness to talk; However, the conditions set essentially amount to a capitulation by Ukraine. Conversely, Ukraine’s goal is to regain all of its occupied territories, which would mean a failure for Russia in its large-scale invasion.

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