NewsSociety

The Split between Kyiv and Minsk is Getting Worse and Worse

Ukraine - Belarus

Relations between Ukraine and Belarus are deteriorating day by day, and the main reason for this “tension” is the attitude of official Kyiv to mass protests by Belarusians who do not agree with the results of the presidential election in the country, as well as the suppression of opposition rallies by Belarusian security forces.

According to the latest information, Ukraine plans to join the European Union sanctions imposed on Belarus. In particular, this was announced by the Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in an interview with BBC News Ukraine.

“I want to look at the final legal decision, which is on this list. But yes, we are determined to join these sanctions because this is a question of policy coherence,” the Minister said, adding that “in this situation, it is important to act as a united front.”

He noted that the price of such solidarity for Ukraine is much higher than for the EU or NATO because Ukraine is not under the “umbrella of protection” of these associations, and the expansion of Russia’s influence in Belarus threatens Ukrainian security.

The Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed that Ukraine plans to join the personal sanctions against certain Belarusian high-ranking officials. At the same time, restrictions on trade in Kyiv are not planned yet.

“As for economic cooperation, we do not plan to attack. We do not plan to make Belarus worse. We only wish it well. We do not plan any embargo, the introduction of any restrictions on trade,” Kuleba said, pointing to the mutual benefit of Belarusian and Ukrainian trade ties. However, this approach could be revised if the Russian Federation establishes control over Belarusian enterprises.

The other day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine categorically rejected the accusations of the Belarusian side of alleged interference in the internal affairs of Belarus.

“Ukraine categorically rejects the accusations of the Belarusian side of Ukraine’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of Belarus, and in the recently noticeable desperate rhetoric of Belarusian officials. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia sees an epistolary genre,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Earlier, the Belarusian Embassy in Ukraine stated on its Facebook page that Belarus considered Ukraine’s behaviour unfriendly, and accused it of interfering in the country’s internal affairs in order to influence the choice of the Belarusian people.

In addition, during September, Alexander Lukashenka repeatedly stressed that protests in the country are developing, also from Ukraine. He also accused Ukraine and some Western countries (including the United States, Poland, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic) of trying to implement the scenario of destroying Belarus.

After the so-called secret “inauguration” of Lukashenka, a number of states stated that they do not recognise him as a legitimate president. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted that after the expiration of Lukashenka’s term as President of Belarus, Ukraine officially plans to name him without specifying his position.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the idea of moving negotiations on the settlement of the war in Donbas from the Minsk platform is being voiced at a high level. And if earlier it was said that the situation with the protests in the capital of Belarus does not contribute to the work of the Tripartite Contact Group, now Ukrainian diplomats are already openly talking about hostile actions of Belarus and strengthening Russia’s position in Minsk. Accordingly, the city, where for the first time world leaders sat at the negotiating table to discuss the war in Donbas, is becoming increasingly unacceptable as a place for physical meetings of the TCG.

Bohdan Marusyak

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