Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that the policy of sanctions is aimed at eliminating Russia as a competitor and is leading to another world war.
"In a situation like this we should be aware that there are such sanctions. A great deal is being said about the banking sector. Gas, oil, SWIFT. It's worse than war. Russia is being pushed towards a third world war. We should be very reserved and steer clear of it. Because nuclear war is the end of everything," Lukashenko said, reports TASS.
He stressed that Belarusian high-tech enterprises might help Russia obtain substitutes for Western and Asian microchips.
"The United States is the sole beneficiary of what is happening here. In this way Europe can be shown its place and competitors eliminated," he said.
Lukashenko stressed that Russia and the United States were the United States' main rivals.
"This is the problem they are addressing. They have gone as far as war," the Belarusian leader said.
"What is happening today is urging us to cooperate tightly. For instance, they have warned Russia that they will terminate the supplies of high-tech equipment, first and foremost, microchips and so on, which we make at our industrial association Integral (Belarusian manufacturer of microchips and LCD indicators - TASS). Welcome!" he said. Lukashenko remarked that Belarusian microchips might be a little larger, but they were in no way inferior in terms of quality and reliability.
Countersanctions to be painful for the West
Lukashenko warned that Minsk and Moscow would take very panful sanctions against the West.
"Our sanctions, to be taken by Russia and Belarus, will be very panful… These mechanisms have already started working. If need be, we will be building up these measures, but not to our own detriment," the Belarusian leader said.
He warned that another iron curtain was about to fall.
"It's a journalistic clich·: iron curtain, iron curtain. It began to be lowered a long time ago. Possibly, only a narrow gap remains, letting some light to get through. When the iron curtain was not beneficial to them, they were criticizing it aloud. Now they are lowering it themselves… We do not need it. We will not cause it to fall. We are very delicate and cautious," Lukashenko concluded.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 declared a special military operation in Ukraine in response to a message from the leaders of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans for an occupation of Ukrainian territories. The sole purpose is the demilitarization and denazification of Ukrainian territories. The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces were not attacking cities, but merely putting out of order military infrastructures without endangering the civilian population. After that the United States, the European Union and Britain, and also a number of other countries declared they were imposing sanctions on a number of Russian individuals and legal entities.
The West has imposed several packages of sanctions on Belarus' individuals and leading industrial enterprises. That was done after the country held a presidential election, which the Western countries refused to recognize. Also, they blamed the Belarusian authorities of a harsh crackdown on protesters. Minsk has taken retaliatory measures.