Who are Russia’s allies in the Ukraine conflict and what is their stance?

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Few countries have offered support to Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced plans to invade Ukraine.

The sounds of explosions were heard in major cities in Ukraine after Russia attacked the country early Thursday and dozens of people have been killed and injured, said Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

President Joe Biden condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” late Wednesday and said “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson followed the same sentiment and tweeted he was “appalled by the horrific events in Ukraine.”

The U.S. and its allies have spoken out about the actions of Putin, Russia’s longtime president, but what about countries with strong relationships with the Kremlin?

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China

China called for peace between the two countries and said the U.S. and its allies were worsening the conflict.

“China is closely following the latest developments,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing. “We still hope that the parties concerned will not shut the door to peace and engage instead in dialogue and consultation and prevent the situation from further escalating,”

The relationship between China and Russia has grown over the past few decades, and the two nations opposed a further expansion of NATO.

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“When expanding NATO eastward five times to the vicinity of Russia and deploying advanced offensive strategic weapons in breach of its assurances to Russia, did the US ever think about the consequence of pushing a big country to the wall?” Chunying tweeted on Wednesday.

Belarus

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said the country would use nuclear weapons and more as conflict escalated against its ally Russia, according to AFP.

“If such stupid and mindless steps are taken by our rivals and opponents, we will deploy not only nuclear weapons, but super-nuclear and up-and-coming ones to protect our territory,” Lukashenko said last week.

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus said it saw Putin’s move to recognize the independence of rebel-held areas in Ukraine “with respect and understanding.”

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CNN reported Russian military troops entering Ukraine from the Belarus border early Thursday morning after the two nations conducted joint military exercises across the countries in recent weeks.

Other countries

Other Russian allies and neighboring countries like Armenia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijani have remained quiet in light of the country’s attack.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev did not comment on the conflict while visiting Moscow to speak with Putin on bilateral relations.

Officials in Kazakhstan also remained quiet on the growing conflict and Moscow’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Russia allies and neighboring nations remain quiet during Ukraine war




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