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US intelligence claims Belarus will join Russia in invasion of Ukraine

US intelligence claims Belarus will join Russia in invasion of Ukraine

Washington: A top US intelligence officer has claimed that Russia ally and Ukranian neighbour Belarus may join the fight, bolstering its ally by sending troops to take part in the invasion of Ukraine which began last week.

Belarus, another former member of the erstwhile Soviet Union, has been providing support for the attack on Ukraine, including acting as a staging ground for invading soldiers, but has not, so far, taken direct part.

The officer who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press, said that any decision taken by the Belarussian leadership under President Alexander Lukashenko will depend on the outcome of the tense situation between Ukraine and Russia, who are scheduled to hold talks today on the border between Ukraine and Belarus.

Belarus has passed a constitutional referendum revoking its non-nuclear status and paving the way for Russian nuclear weapons to be placed in the country.

According to The Kyiv Independent, 65.16 % of citizens allegedly supported these constitutional amendments. Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko has also significantly extended his executive powers. This follows Putin's declaration that Russian nuclear forces be kept on standby, in a move that has caused widespread alarm.

A Russian delegation arrived this morning in the city of Gomel and are awaiting the Ukrainian delegation.

Belarus took the initiative to convince Ukranian President Volodymr Zelensky to hold talks with Russia despite Zelensky having been skeptical of peace talks with a country that had initiated such aggression against his own. Russia had accused the UN and NATO powers of having wasted an opportunity for peace talks, with President Putin claiming that NATO leaders were making "inflammatory remarks".

The United Nations Security Council voted to hold an emergency session of the General Assembly Monday in further protest of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

This is the first time in decades that the General Assembly has held such a meeting and comes after a US-sponsored Security Council vote on Russia's aggression was junked after Russia - allowed to vote despite being the resolution's subject - vetoed the move. India abstained from that too.

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TAGS:USABelarusUkraine-Russia war
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