A Russian foreign ministry official warned on Friday that Belarus could enter the conflict in Ukraine if Kyiv decides to invade either country.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and will support his objectives if he is asked to.
Russia has deployed its troops in Belarus for joint military drills since October 2022.
News 18 reports: Both countries have since agreed to intensify their military co-operation, raising fears Moscow could use its close ally to launch a new offensive on Ukraine from the north.
In an interview with state media, foreign ministry official Aleksey Polishchuk said that Russia’s joint drills with Belarus were designed to prevent escalation, but warned that Belarus may join the Ukraine conflict if it or Russia were invaded.
“From a legal point of view, the use of military force by the Kyiv regime or the invasion of the territory of Belarus or Russia by the armed forces of Ukraine are sufficient grounds for a collective response,” Polishchuk told the TASS news agency.
He added, however, that it was up to the leaders of the two countries whether they would make that decision.