NATO warns Belarus and Russia of threats to allies

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Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about the cooperation between the governments in Minsk and Moscow. Belarus is becoming “more and more dependent” on Russia.
NATO warns Belarus and Russia against attempts to destabilize the defence alliance. “We are, of course, ready to protect and defend any allied in an emergency against any threat emanating from Minsk and Moscow,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of Welt am Sonntag. “We are vigilant, and we are following very closely what is happening in Belarus.” Belarus is becoming “more and more dependent” on Russia.

Stoltenberg said the Allies were seriously concerned about the closer cooperation between the Moscow and Minsk governments in recent months. “We have learned in the past that Russia has massively violated the territorial integrity of states like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.” The NATO countries Lithuania, Latvia and Poland share a border with Belarus.

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko had a Ryanair passenger plane forced to make a stopover in Minsk from Athens to Vilnius about two weeks ago. He then had the anti-government blogger Roman Protasewitsch and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega arrested. Both are in custody. The EU then imposed sanctions to increase pressure on Lukashenko. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, received the ruler – and helped him with a large loan. Putin stressed that he would continue to support Lukashenko in his confrontation with the West.

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