Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has said his armed forces would only join the Russian offensive in Ukraine if his country was attacked first.


Speaking during a rare press conference with foreign journalists in Minsk on Feb. 16, he said: “I'm ready to fight together with the Russians from the territory of Belarus in one case only: if so much as one soldier from (Ukraine) comes to our territory with a gun to kill my people.


He added: "This applies to our other neighbors. If they commit an aggression against Belarus, our response will be the most cruel. The most cruel!"


Despite so far resisting pressure to send his own troops in support of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Lukashenko has allowed Russia to use Belarusian territory to launch missiles and host military bases from which aircraft attack Ukraine.



Wounded Russian soldiers are also treated in the country.


Lukashenko is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and he has said the pair would discuss a joint regional force announced in October, that has seen several thousand Russian servicemen arrive in the ex-Soviet state.


Lukashenko said he had asked Putin for an extra Russian division that would fall under his leadership.


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