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31 Oct 2018

Belarus president describes delays in resolving conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass as dangerous

Belarus president describes delays in resolving conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass as dangerous

MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) – Any delays in resolving the conflict in the Donbass area are dangerous. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as a meeting of the Core Group of the Munich Security Conference opened in Minsk on 31 October, BelTA has learned. The statement was made in response to Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger’s question about what needs to happen for negotiations on the Ukrainian problem to produce results.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that he had already talked a lot about it. “I would like to once again elaborate on what has been said. We’ve talked about the Donbass issue so much. We’ve had so many dialogues. Today in order to keep up the pace or any pace at all, in order to secure something, we need results. At least half a step forward. So that people could believe that something can be done about the problem,” said the Belarusian head of state.

“The dialogue going on now will produce an ever bigger conflict. After despairing of being able to resolve the conflict – although they die there every day – people will take very serious weapons in their hands,” believes Alexander Lukashenko. He stressed that it must not be allowed. “If there are weapons there, we should prevent them from firing,” he said.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, steps towards peace and stability are needed. “The most dreadful thing about the Minsk agreements is that as a result of the unending dialogue Russia and Ukraine have completely lost trust. Let’s be frank, the resolution of the problem depends on them. There is no trust. You must agree with me when I say that we are brothers – Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia – and should be the ones to take steps to resolve the conflict as three of us. If there is no trust between elder brothers – Ukrainians and Russians – excuse me for putting it this way – the third brother should get involved,” said the Belarus president.

“If there is no trust along the 400km long Russian-Ukrainian border in the Donbass area, if the border is not secure while Ukraine wants to take it and Russia is concerned about a possible bloodshed over there, then I suggest securing this border as an old border guard. But only as part of Russian-Ukrainian agreements. I cannot enforce my own rules in the matter. The two presidents should come to terms and instruct me accordingly. I will do the job,” said the Belarusian leader.

“I’d like to quote a concrete example. It is a very important one: organizing elections in the Donbass area. Well, let’s talk about principles and our contribution. Ukraine will organize the elections on its own. We will provide oversight in a manner we have to agree on,” noted the head of state. “It is necessary to organize elections over there in order to address issues. And once people see peace, they will forgive everything.”

“Any delays in resolving the conflict will make it even worse,” stressed the Belarus president. “The conflict will evolve into a war instead. Our generation should be the one to stop the conflict. We cannot allow our children to inherit it.”

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