Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko used a speech on Saturday to threaten military retaliation against anybody who attacked his country, as tensions over the war in neighbouring Ukraine remained high.
Speaking on the eve of the country's Independence Day, Lukashenko said that he had ordered his armed forces to target "the decision-making centres" of Western capitals in the event of an attack on Belarus, adding: "Don't touch us - and we won't touch you," according to state news agency Belta.
Despite the fact that it was Russia that invaded Ukraine, Moscow and its staunch ally Minsk have repeatedly attempted to portray themselves as victims of supposedly hostile Western and NATO policies.
There have been fears that Belarus could officially enter the war alongside Russia since the Ukraine conflict began in late February, with Lukashenko admitting that Russian missiles were fired at Ukraine from Belarusian territory in the first weeks of the invasion.
At its two-day summit in Madrid earlier this week, NATO decided to significantly strengthen its eastern flank and to begin the process of admitting Finland and Sweden to the defence alliance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin then announced his intention to respond to the possible transfer of NATO soldiers to Finland with proportional Russian troop deployments in the region.