Putin, Lukashenko discuss Ukraine, Western sanctions

Moscow: Amid the Sixteenth day of war between Russia and Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday held talks with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko to discuss Ukraine and Western sanctions.

Putin said that there had been some progress in Moscow’s talks with Ukraine, but provided no details, reported Sputnik.

There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me, Putin said in a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, adding that talks continued practically on a daily basis.

Putin did not elaborate but said in the televised remarks that he would go into more detail with Lukashenko. Meanwhile, Lukashenko said that Ukraine planned to attack not only Donbas but also Belarus.

The Belarusian leader said that he brought a map which shows from where Ukraine planned to attack Belarus, reported Sputnik. And if six hours before the operation there had not been a preventive strike on the positions – four positions, I will now show the map, I brought it – they would have attacked our troops of Belarus and Russia … we did not unleash this war, our conscience is clear.

It’s good that we started, Lukashenko said. “They were not only preparing to attack the Donbas, they lined up positions to strike at Belarus, Lukashenko added. Earlier, European Union on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Russia and Belarus targeting Russian leaders, oligarchs, their family members, and the maritime sector.

The measures disconnected three Belarus banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system. The agreed measures will restrict the provision of SWIFT services to Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, as well as their Belarusian subsidiaries.