Lukashenko: Belarus Prepares for War While Advocating Peace

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.02 - 2024 3:12 PM CET

Photo: Asatur Yesayants /
Photo: Asatur Yesayants /
In a striking declaration, Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko announces military readiness efforts, contrasting his proclaimed desire for peace with actions that suggest preparation for conflict.

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Amidst growing tensions in Eastern Europe, Alexander Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, has made a public statement that the nation is gearing up for potential warfare, despite his assertions of seeking peace. This announcement was reported by the Belarusian state agency BelTA.

A Dual-Faced Strategy

During a ceremony to lay a time capsule at the site of a new city hospital in Grodno, Lukashenko called the action a "message for neighboring countries."

"After all, we are now also digging the ground, just like them, very close to the border. Only our goals are completely different. There they dig trenches, anti-tank trenches and other things, increase the costs of shock weapons. And here we direct two-thirds of the region's budget to social sphere...We are focused only on creation," he said.

Lukashenko's rhetoric evokes the ancient adage "If you want peace, prepare for war," suggesting a defensive posture under the guise of peacekeeping.

Veiled Threats and Regional Implications

The Belarusian leader's recent activities, including a discussed potential attack on the Suval Corridor — a strategically significant area between Belarus and the Russian Federation's Kaliningrad Region — further complicate the narrative.

Holding a dog, a symbol often associated with loyalty and protection, Lukashenko hinted at a readiness to "resolutely respond to provocations," a statement that could be perceived as a veiled threat to neighboring nations.

This mixed messaging from the self-proclaimed president presents a challenge for regional diplomacy, as countries assess the likelihood of Belarus engaging in military action versus its declared focus on societal development.