Belarus leader ready to invite Russian troops 'if necessary'
Belarus’ authoritarian president says he's prepared to invite Russian troops into the country, if necessary, to ensure security of both Belarus and Russia
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KYIV, Ukraine -- Belarus' authoritarian president said Friday he's prepared to invite Russian troops into the country if such a move is necessary to ensure the security of both Belarus and Russia.
But, President Alexander Lukashenko said, at the moment “there is absolutely no need” to do that.
In remarks carried by the state-run Belta news agency, Lukashenko stressed that he had dealt with last year's anti-government protests without involving other countries' armed forces, but added that he would not hesitate to bring in Russian troops if necessary.
Belarus is able to quickly deploy 500,000 of its own personnel, but “if it is not enough, all Russian armed forces will be brought in,” Lukashenko said, according to Belta. “If it is necessary, we won't hesitate.”