Lukashenka explains why meet with Putin at Zapad 2017 was called off


Alyaksandr Lukashenka has explained why he did not meet with Vladimir Putin at the military exercise West-2017. The Belarusian and Russian leaders agreed to attend the drills separately. Lukashenka visited the firing ground near Barysau on Wednesday.

“We agreed to observe the manoeuvres separately because the main exercise was held in Belarus. However, some major maneuvres were also organized in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. That is why the Russian President observed the military exercise in the north and I did it in the centre,” the Belarusian leader told journalists. They had been planning to observe the maneuvres together at first but then the plan was revised, he added. “We needed to attend the maneuvres in different spots so that people could see the Presidents,” Alyaksandr Lukashenka noted. Furthermore, if a shell had landed in one spot, it could have killed both of us at a time, the Belarusian president joked.