“Putin has the rank of colonel, and he promised to give me the rank of colonel. He has not yet done so,” Lukashenko said in an interview with journalist Vladimir Solovyov, who is known for promoting Kremlin policy.
“He promised that he would,” he added to the announcer, who burst out laughing, according to a video clip broadcast by the Belarusian presidential account on the Telegram platform.
The journalist tried to question the veracity of Lukashenko’s statements, who insisted on them and asserted that Putin’s promise was to grant him the rank of colonel in the “Russian Army” or “Soviet Army”.
The Belarusian president added that the Russian president, a former colonel in the KGB, “will have the rank of general.”
The rank of colonel in Arabic corresponds to the rank of colonel, or the rank of general is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant general.
Lukashenko, whose regime has been vigorously defended by the Kremlin while Minsk has relentlessly suppressed the massive protest movement since 2020, made strange statements.
He never disclosed the context in which the Russian president promised him a military upgrade.
“This is my problem, not yours,” replied Lukashenko, when he noted that it is difficult for the head of an independent country to be an officer in the army of another country.
Relations were turbulent between Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, and Moscow. Since the fall of 2020, he has changed his tone and is presenting himself as Russia’s last bastion against Western ambitions, even promising to accompany it on a military campaign in Ukraine if necessary.
Belarus is highly dependent on Russian financial credit and on oil and gas supplies from its neighbour. There are rumors that the Kremlin is seeking to integrate it with Russia, but this has been denied.