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Lukashenko urges Russia-led CSTO military alliance to unite against West

FILE PHOTO: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council in Minsk, Belarus April 7, 2022. Nikolai Petrov/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday urged other members of a Russian-dominated military alliance to stand united, and accused the West of hoping to prolong the conflict in Ukraine to try to weaken Russia as much as possible.

Lukashenko, speaking at a summit of the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in Moscow, said "hellish sanctions" against his country and Russia could have been avoided if the group had spoken with one voice.

"Without a united front, the collective West will build up pressure on the post-Soviet space," Lukashenko said in televised opening remarks, addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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