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29 Jan 2015

Lukashenko: Belarus’ efforts to resolve Ukraine crisis are not publicity stunt

MINSK, 29 January (BelTA) – Belarus does not seek to earn political dividends by offering its assistance in the resolution of the Ukraine crisis, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during the meeting with journalists on 29 January, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted: “They say that Belarus has become some kind of peacekeeper. I keep responding that we are not peacekeepers and we never insisted on being them. We are not going to reconcile anyone unless they ask us to. In that case I was asked to do what I could”.

“This disaster happened. Naturally, we were concerned about it and we discussed these problems with Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko. We did not shy away from it; we discussed a possibility of a dialogue, though, not in detail, maybe. I always put the question only in the following way: if you want us to do it, we will do whatever we can, because we do care,” the President emphasized.

He continued: “This war is not somewhere far away, it is on our doorstep. It has already had its toll on us. Indeed, Belarus hosted several dozen thousands of Ukrainian refugees. We have to save them, because we do care about them. We have to heighten security on our border. Mass media got it right – I have been speaking about the border security and military security more often recently. I am commander-in-chief; I cannot but respond to the developments in Iraq and Syria. In what way? By helping our Armed Forces adapt to modern-day warfare, by drawing conclusions. Now we have this war on our doorstep. I have to respond. And this costs money. However, this is not a war yet. We should keep this thing away from us. Therefore, no matter whether I want it or not, I have to get involved in these processes discreetly.”

“When I asked again how we, Belarusians, could help and lend a shoulder, the President of Russia and, first of all, the President of Ukraine asked me: help us bring people together, we want them to get together in Minsk. This will be called a contact group, help us hold this meeting. We did everything they asked us to. In other words, we did not rush into this peacekeeping. We are not peacekeepers. We just do what they ask us to. If they ask for anything else – we will do it,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“As far as our initiatives are concerned, we have our own point of view on this crisis and certain suggestions. The President of Russia and the President of Ukraine are aware of them. So are the leaders of the LNR and DNR. If they accept them, they will tell us how we can help them. If not, we are okay with it. We are not going to suggest ourselves and use the situation to earn political dividends as some say. Such publicity moves are dangerous,” the head of state believes.

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