Conflict in Ukraine: Belarus observes artificial neutrality (video, ENG)

Some people say Ukraine is not our headache, but which side will Belarus take in the war between its closest neighbours?

English subs:

{movie}Ukrainian conflict: Belarus observes artificial neutrality (ENG)|right|18149{/movie}


‘I can’t even imagine that this may happen. In my opinion, it’s impossible.’

‘I don’t know whom we should support. I believe this war should be ended as soon as possible.’

‘Fratricidal war is shameful.’

‘Both Ukrainian and Russian nations are good.’

‘To support someone … I wish the world were peaceful, it is essential. If only we had voice in the matter we would be very glad.’

In this case the official stand echoes the voice of the people. Belarus goes beyond the trade with the two neighbours: President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who calls Russia and Ukraine ‘brotherly countries’, cordially welcomed both Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko during the recent talks in Minsk.

DZMITRY MIRONCHYK, Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry:

‘We supported the Ukrainian President’s proposal to make Minsk a permanent venue for regular meetings of the tripartite group Ukraine-Russia-OSCE.’

And this will play not only into the hands of Lukashenka, whose image has been improving in the presence of top visitors.

VALER KARBALEVICH, political analyst:

‘Russia also gains, because it has an opportunity to negotiate with the EU and Ukraine, a venue for talks.’

And that’s why Lukashenka is still able to claim his impartiality in the conflict.

VALER KARBALEVICH, political analyst:

‘Putin has already got what he really wanted, i.e. deployment of 15 Russian warplanes near the city of Babruysk and Belarus’s backing of Russia in the United Nations.’

For the years of building the Union State Lukashenka has invited a lot of Russian military to Belarus. There are even alien air bases in the Belarusian territory. Our servicemen often go to Russia and participate in war games – for example, airborne raiders from Brest have recently departed for Krasnodar region which is close to the border with Ukraine. Russian paratroopers pay visits and take part in military exercises in Belarusian range stations. Is it really safe?

PAVEL USAU, political analyst:

‘In fact, at the moment nothing can stop Russia from mopping up its allies, as was the case in Ukraine.’

But Russia doesn’t need to take such measures here, because our country is under its strong influence, for the restoration of which Russia is fighting in Ukraine, Paval Usau says.

PAVEL USAU, political analyst:

‘Belarus is fully dependent from Russia’s economic backing, especially when Belarus’s economy is in such critical situation, which we see now, and, of course, before elections.’

According to the experts, such artificial neutrality might well be finished soon. And it is not President Lukashenka who will decide when it will happen.

Martsin Yarski, In Focus

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