Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has called the arrest of the Ukrainian citizen in Belarus ‘stupidity’ that should be considered in the context of the Russian-Belarusian military war game Zapad-2017.
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’, Pabyarzyn 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.
“Belarus first experiences mushroom hysteria, then berry hysteria, then spy hysteria, then some kind of economic one. Someone benefits from building up image about Ukraine that works in Belarus, which by definition is total stupidity,” news agency Interfax Ukraine quotes him.
Someone is creating such a situation by intent, the diplomat added.
According to him, as part of the analysis of this situation, it is necessary to take into account September’s maneuvers, in the course of which offensive operations were drilled.
Earlier, First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Irina Gerashchenko said that Belarus should not make ‘provocations’ if it positions itself as a ‘peacekeeper’.