According to US and NATO officials, Belarus is on the verge of joining Russia in its war against Ukraine and is already taking steps in that direction, News. az reports citing CNN.
Belarus’s entry into the conflict is becoming increasingly likely, a NATO official said on Monday.
“Putin is in need of support. In the words of the official, anything would help.
Belarusian opposition sources have said that Belarusian combat units are ready to deploy into Ukraine as soon as in the next few days, with thousands of forces ready to be deployed. According to this source, a third country joining the war would have less of an impact militarily than it would geopolitically.
Belarus is preparing an offensive against Ukraine.
NATO intelligence officials said separately they believe the Belarusian government is preparing to launch an offensive against Ukraine.
Last month, Belarusians voted to allow Russian forces and nuclear weapons to remain there permanently, though US officials told CNN they have not seen any signs that Russia has moved its nuclear weapons or is preparing to do so.
Belarus is not currently participating in Ukraine’s fighting, according to the sources, and a US defense official said the Pentagon had not seen “any indications that the Belarusians are preparing to move into Ukraine or that they have made any arrangements for that.”
According to the NATO official, a final decision regarding Belarus’ participation in the war still has to be made in Moscow, and there has been no indication that Belarusian forces are participating in the fighting in Ukraine.
“It does not have anything to do with what [Alexander] Lukashenko wants,” the official explained, referring to the Belarusian president. “Does Putin want another unstable country in the region?” the official asked.
“Involvement would destabilize Belarus,” said the official.
According to the official, Belarus should try to cut off NATO military aid coming into Ukraine from its western border if it wishes to intervene in the war.