No Moscow link: Lukashenka comments on Belarus-Ukraine spy row

Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka has spoken out on the Belarus-Ukraine high-profile spy scandal during Friday’s working trip to Homiel region.

The immediate situation was discussed with Ukrainian resident Petro Poroshenko during their recent meeting in the United Arab Emirates, he claims.

“He posed the question, and I showed him the facts. I admitted my being aware of the operation on neutralize the spy network since its first days. It is typical – the KGB chief immediately reported the case to me,” Lukashenka said.

According to him, the parties agreed to keep the lid on the case, but the Ukrainian side broke its promise.

“They kicked up a fuss and everything got leaked to the press. what on earth was I to do? I cancelled my decision and sanctioned furnishing media outlets with some information so that people could see that we were not trying to whip up tension with Ukraine. We showed what we had. This man confessed where he had worked and how,” Lukashenka said.

Intelligence officers’working under the guise of reporters and diplomats is a usual practice, he believes.

“But what should we think about a Belarusian citizen who worked for a foreign intelligence service, even if it is not completely unfamiliar to us, for a song?” the Belarusian leader added.

The president warned journalists against looking for any ‘Russian connection’ in the case.

As reported earlier, UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Pavlo Sharoiko was arrested in Minsk in late October. According to Belarus KGB spokesman Dzmitry Pabyarzhyn, Sharoiko, an officer of Ukraine’s military intelligence, worked undercover as a radio correspondent and created a spy network of the citizens of Belarus. Sharoiko’s work was coordinated by Ihor Skvortsov, who ‘acted under the guise of the Ukrainian embassy counselor in Belarus’, Pabyarzhyn said. Skvortsov was declared persona non grata and expelled from Belarus. Ukrainian government agencies has repeatedly refuted the claim by the KGB of the alleged involvement of Pavlo Sharoiko in espionage and his being an intelligence officer., following BelTA

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