MOSCOW, July 21 (Aljazeera) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Moscow, Kyiv and the latter’s Western allies must all agree to halt the war in Ukraine to avoid the “abyss of nuclear war.”

“We must stop, reach an agreement, end this mess, operation and war in Ukraine,” Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told the AFP news agency on Thursday in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

“Let’s stop and then we will figure out how to go on living … There’s no need to go further. Further lies the abyss of nuclear war. There’s no need to go there.”

Russian officials have said Moscow would only authorise the use of nuclear weapons in the event it was confronted with an “existential threat”.

But concerns were raised over their possible use in Ukraine early in the war after Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert on February 27 – three days after ordering the invasion.