President of Belarus Denies Arms Sales to Iraq

The United States has no facts to confirm the alleged arms sales to Iraq, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told the press.

"Do believe me, we have never sold arms to Iraq, and I am sure Russia has never done so either," Lukashenko added.

He suggested other countries could have bought it and resold to Iraq later. According to him, the Iraqi armed forces were only equipped with old planes, tanks and anti-aircraft systems. "If Iraq were armed with our weapons, the war there would have continued to this day," Lukashenko said. He pointed out that Belarus-Russian and Ukrainian defence equipment includes fifth-generation arms.

"The US today should not try to distract the public from the problems generated by the war in Iraq," he went on to say. "What they should do is bear responsibility for their deeds." Mentioning certain documents allegedly found in Iraq which prove that Belarus had sold arms to the Saddam Hussein regime, Lukashenko said "this information does not comply with reality." The document the media refer to does not contain any classified information; it is simply an inventory of types of arms produced in Belarus.

"Yes, we do produce arms," Lukashenko confirmed, "but only arms of containment, so that no one would want to raise a fist at us."

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