Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko says his soldiers are not taking part in the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
"Our troops are not taking part in this operation," he said, according to the state news agency Belta.
According to information from Minsk, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenko spoke on the phone early on Thursday.
The two allies recently conducted a joint large-scale manoeuvre in Belarus, including in the south of the ex-Soviet republic on the border with Ukraine.
There had been fears, especially in the West, that Russia might also be planning an invasion of Ukraine from Belarus. The Kremlin had always denied this.