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26 Sep 2019

Lukashenko: Ukraine should do everything for its peace, integrity

Lukashenko: Ukraine should do everything for its peace, integrity

MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – The government of Ukraine should make every effort to maintain peace and integrity of the country, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ukrainian journalists on 26 September, BelTA has learned.

“Every chance should be taken to put an end to the war and to return this territory to Ukraine. The war will be over sooner or later. The most important thing is to make this blessed land part of Ukraine again. This is the ultimate goal,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, if Ukrainian authorities want integrity of the country, they should do everything to restore peace. “I would take any step for it. Elections? I would agree to them. It is necessary to give guarantees to people who believe they fight for their land and their families. I think it is not a problem,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In his view, determination is not enough to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. It is necessary to take action. “People need action that will bring peace and results. That is what people are waiting for. It is necessary to go as far as it might take, to tame ambitions, to get together and stand as one in order to retain unity in Ukraine,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Earlier the Belarusian leader stated that the conflict should be resolved by Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. He remains committed to this idea. “Forget about all kinds of formulas. Sit down at the negotiating table in Ukraine and call those who want peace, including Belarusians. We, three Slavonic nations, should resolve this conflict because this is our home. In this case we will not be able to sit it out: either we take a decision or admit that we do not want to resolve this conflict,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

However, the parties to the conflict do not want to go this way yet, the president said. He added that the United States of America should probably get involved in the peace process. “If they step in and if they are determined to achieve a peaceful resolution and to retain the integrity of Ukraine within its due borders, the matter will make progress, at least in the east of Ukraine. However, the Americans decided not to get involved unless they are invited to. That was announced publicly. But politics is usually done behind the scenes. Therefore, I can only guess about their real stance on it,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the time when the conflict in the east of Ukraine was  in the nascent stage. According to the president, he was involved in the discussion of these developments with all the parties. “Whenever I asked unpleasant questions, Putin always provided explanations, not just on Crimea, but more on Donetsk. The same way I was involved in the discussion of this problem with Europeans,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko discussed possible ways out of this crisis in a telephone conversation with President of the European Council Donald Tusk. “I offered my vision of the conflict resolution to the West. I warned Tusk saying: “If you reject this idea, I will know that at least in Europe there are people who are interested in the conflict in Ukraine.” He kept silent for a while and then said: “Mr President, I guess you are right.” After we put forward our proposals, no progress has been made,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Belarus was even ready to send peacekeeping forces to Ukraine on the terms of the belligerents. “This proposal was met with no response on the part of Ukraine and Russia,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that he will be able to discuss possible solutions to the crisis at the forthcoming meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. “You should know: we will not insist on being peacemakers or middlemen. This is out of the question. This is my aspiration as a human being, as a man that this conflict should be resolved. If needed, we can play a part. However, even these proposals were rejected by Ukraine’s former leaders,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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