The ‘Ukrainian scenario’ was authored by Russia, but Kyiv also bears the blame for the situation that came about in 2014, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey said in the recent interview with Euronews.
According to the diplomat, Belarus is seeking to maintan good relations with both Russia and the EU.
“We are located between two major geopolitical players — Russia and the European Union. At the moment, we are now between a rock and a hard place, which are, let’s put it this way, in a state of hostility. We are experiencing problems due to that since the Belarusian economy is export-oriented.”
Makey describes Belarus-Russia relations as ‘good’ and doubts that Belarus’ step-by-step opening to the West can trigger any quarrels with the Kremlin.
“I don’t think Russia would want to stage something similar to the Ukrainian scenario in Belarus. It would not meet their interests. Even discussing such hypothetical things seems absurd to me,” the Foreign Minister said.
However, he stressed that the Ukrainian government had also made many mistakes in the past, which resulted in such a situation. At the same time, Makey stated that the Belarusians were ‘slightly different’ from Ukrainians and they would never let such things happen in their country.
In early March 2014, in the course of Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, Russian green men annexed Crimea. On March 16, a referendum on the status was held; the independent Republic of Crimea was proclaimed. It also signed an accession agreement with Russia.
In April 2014, a conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine: armed militants started fighting against Ukraine for the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Kyiv and the West blame Russia for being behind the conflict; the Kremlin denies the accusations.
Belarus does not consider the Crimean referendum illegal; it reconciles to Crimea’s being de facto Russian.
“But that does not mean that we agree or disagree to something. Crimea is not the state which should be recognised or not. t the moment the main task is to preserve the territorial integrity of the rest of Ukraine,” Makey said in Moscow in 2016.
According to him, that is why Belarus offered a venue for the talks on the situation in Ukraine.