Putin made a call to this leader before launching military operation on Ukraine

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 24, 2022, 05:28 PM(IST)

Putin also said his country wanted to remain part of the world economy and had no plans to harm it. Photograph:( Reuters )

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A little later after the call, Putin appeared on state television and declared he had authorised "special operation" to "protect Donbas"

Before launching a 'military operation' on Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an early morning call to his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. 

Lukashenko's office, in a statement, said, "Around 5 am (0200 GMT) today there was a telephone conversation between the presidents of Belarus and Russia. During the call, Vladimir Putin informed his Belarusian colleague about the situation on the border with Ukraine and in Donbas."

The Kremlin, so far, has released no statement on the call.

A little later after the call, Putin appeared on state television and declared he had authorised "special operation" to "protect Donbas" while urging Ukrainian forces to "lay down arms".

Also read | Putin declares military operation 'to demilitarise Ukraine'

"Entire course of events, information analysis shows clashes between Russia, nationalistic forces in Ukraine are inevitable and a matter of time," Putin said.

"Russia does not have a single opportunity other than to defend itself, it will use it."

Putin further added that Russia will seek to demilitarise Ukraine and will "immediately respond to any external threat".

The Russian President vowed to retaliate against "interference" with Russia's Ukraine operation. "Politics is a dirty business but NATO's actions are contrary to morality."

He further mentioned, "Russia's policy is based on freedom, this right should be enjoyed by everyone, including residents of Ukraine. I have made the decision of a military operation," Putin said in a surprise statement on television.

(With inputs from agencies)

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