Putin ‘in better shape than ever’, Belarus leader says


(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is wholesome, sane and “in better shape than ever”, his shut ally Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has stated in an interview with the Japanese tv channel TBS.

“He and I have not solely met as heads of state, we’re on pleasant phrases,” Lukashenko stated in a recording of the interview shared by state information company BelTA. “I’m completely aware of all his particulars, so far as potential, each state and private.”

Russia used Belarusian territory as a staging publish for its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Western leaders have recommended Putin made a pricey miscalculation by launching the navy assault on Ukraine, the place Russian forces have taken heavy losses and their advance has largely stalled regardless of their obvious superiority.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recommended Putin is being “irrational” and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has described him as “completely paranoid”.

But Lukashenko dismissed the notion that Putin, who’s 69, was not on the peak of his powers.

“The West, and also you, ought to get this stupidity, this fiction out of your heads,” he advised the interviewer.

“Putin is completely match, he is in better shape than ever … This is a very sane, wholesome particular person, bodily wholesome – he is an athlete.”

“As they are saying right here – he’ll catch a chilly in any respect our funerals.”

Lukashenko additionally bemoaned the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. The theme is one Putin has continuously mentioned, not least when he recommended in speeches earlier than the invasion that Ukraine was a synthetic assemble and an “inalienable half” of Russian historical past and tradition.

“The collapse of the Soviet Union is a tragedy,” Lukashenko stated. “If the Soviet Union had survived to today, we might have averted all kinds of conflicts on this planet…

“While the USSR existed, the world was multipolar and one pole balanced the opposite,” he stated. “Now the explanation for what’s occurring on this planet is unipolarity – the monopolisation of our planet by the United States of America.”

(Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Helen Popper)

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