Lukashenka needs ‘a strong Ukraine’ but refrains from mediating peace

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed hope that the outcome of the presidential elections would provide a way to the stabilisation in Ukraine. President Lukashenka promised to provide any assistance except for mediation.

‘The independent determination of the further direction of its [Ukraine’s] development is an inalienable right of the Ukrainian people,’ Dzmitry Mironchyk, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.

Belarus is going to send its monitors to observe the vote in Ukraine. ‘That will help us formulate a proper opinion of it,’ Mr Mironchyk said.

Belarus has repeatedly called on all sides in Ukraine’s dispute to ‘fully realize their responsibility for the future of Ukraine and, putting their ambitions aside, come to the negotiating table without delay,’ Mr Mironchyk stressed.

Commenting on unofficial referendums on independence held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk provinces on May 11, Mr Mironchyk said: ‘We believe that a solution to Ukraine’s conflict should be based on unification rather than separation. It should be looked for above all in the framework of a broad national dialogue where the interests of all forces that are on the opposite sides of the barricades today would be represented.’

Belarus wants ‘a strong Ukraine’

Aliaksandr Lukashenka called for ‘a strong and united Ukraine’ while meeting with Ukrainian Ambassador Mykhailo Yezhel in Minsk on May 15.

‘Ukraine is a self-sufficient country, and if it is helped rather than hindered, it will be a very powerful country,’ he was quoted as saying. ‘Well, maybe someone doesn’t want it to be strong and powerful, but this is not my stance or the stance of the Belarusian people. We want to see a strong Ukraine with which we can cooperate, trade, like we did in recent years.’

He noted that he was against the presence of foreign troops from whichever side in Ukraine and raised objections to Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO.

However, Mr Lukashenka reiterated that he would not agree to take the role of intermediary between Kyiv and Moscow. ‘Mediation is excluded, I hate mediation,’ he noted.

At that, a number of experts stress that Mr Lukashenka made an attempt to interpose between the opponents but had to quit due to his commitments to Moscow., following BelaPAN

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