Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been commenting on people who’ve been fleeing abroad to avoid being called up as a military reservist.
“Russia has a mobilisation base of 25 millions people,” he said.
“Suppose 30,000 or even 50,000 have fled, but would they be still our people if they had stayed? Let them run.”
He added: “They can’t act like this. All in all it’s possible to reach an agreement here, instead of fleeing to Europe or to the US like it was during Bolshevik revolution and after it. The situation is different.”
The president is Vladimir Putin’s closest ally and the two men today held a meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Russia has used bases in Belarus for its troops, aircraft and equipment and Mr Lukashenko’s regime – often described as the last dictatorship in Europe – has also been hit with a plethora of Western sanctions.
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