World Bulletin / News Desk
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has recognized Crimea as part of Russia but said the way in which the region was annexed was a "bad precedent".
Lukashenko told reporters in Minsk on Sunday, "Crimea today is a part of Russian territory. You can recognize or not recognize that, but this will change absolutely nothing," adding that Ukrainians brought the crisis on themselves.
He also spoke against Ukraine joining NATO as it would be a provocation against Russia.
"Ukraine should stay a united, undivided, integral state that is not a member of any block because it would be very sensitive both for us and for Russia if, for example, NATO's military would deploy in Ukraine tomorrow, this we can't allow to happen," he said.
"This is our global interest. So we have to make an agreement that nobody has a right to meddle in Ukraine anymore," he added.
Belarus hosts a number of Russian warplanes in counter to NATO warplanes in other countries in eastern Europe.
Although only 8% of Belarus is ethnic Russian, Russian is the main language of the country and enjoys a good relationship with Moscow.Last Mod: 24 Mart 2014, 17:21