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Opinions & Interviews

3 Sep 2019

Belarus president about conflict in Ukraine: Someone needs it

Belarus president about conflict in Ukraine: Someone needs it

MINSK, 3 September (BelTA) – There are parties, who are interested in keeping the conflict in Ukraine going. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko offered his view on the matter during the international conference held in Minsk on 3 September to discuss fight against terrorism, BelTA has learned.

“Why hasn’t this conflict ended yet? It’s been five years since it started. Because someone needs this conflict!” the Belarusian leader stressed.

The head of state noted that Belarus’ initial proposals to peacefully resolve the conflict had been rejected, thus prolonging the conflict.

“All of us suffer due to the conflict in Ukraine. It is a painful problem for me personally and for me as the head of state of a country that borders on Ukraine. When the conflict broke out, a high-ranking official called me and wondered about Belarus’ point of view, about what Belarus was going to do. I didn’t want to interfere because I knew what was going on over there and what the reasons of this conflict were,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

Yet Belarus came up with and suggested a plan of specific actions and measures, which had to be taken in response to the conflict. “I added: if you reject the plan where Belarus is supposed to do the grunt work, I will see it as Europe’s unwillingness to end the conflict. What do you think? Civilized Europe turned down this plan. Even the details,” the Belarusian leader stated.

“And they started fighting for Donbass, for Crimea, for something else – ‘Normandy formats’, including in Belarus. Certainly, I was happy to host them because I knew those were albeit small steps towards normalizing the situation. Because old people and kids were being killed over and it seems they are being killed today,” the head of state added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that when the conflict in Ukraine broke out, many people inside Belarus chided him for getting involved in someone else’s conflict. “First of all, people, who are dear to us, are involved in this conflict. Second, the conflict is close to us. I was afraid and we did meet a huge inflow of migrants in the first year: 150,000 people came into Belarus. Europeans can’t handle 2,000 migrants at sea. Democratic Europe! People are stuck at sea – children, the elderly, people running from problems in their native country. We [Europe] refuse to shelter them. We are willing to let them perish at sea because they are not our own,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “And Belarus welcomed 150,000 people, who are not strangers for us. Virtually several days later I signed the legislation to grant them equal opportunities in Belarus – housing, education, kindergartens, schools, universities… We gave them jobs. It was scary for us, for Belarus and our own share of problems to process the 150,000 people. Do you think someone helped us do it? No. But we didn’t exactly ask for help.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko continued that the most dreadful thing was that Belarus had to “close the border”. “We had to close the [Belarusian-Ukrainian] border tight. Even tighter than the border with the North Atlantic bloc, which has seemed allegedly enemy number one for us since days of old. Because weapons started flowing into Belarus. We don’t want weapons to get into hands of common people, particularly with nationalistic attitudes because it will result in terrorism. And the calm country of Belarus, god forbid, may have to deal with fruits of it. We may get something we’ve apparently never had grounds for,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Who made it happen? The answer is obvious,” the Belarusian head of state concluded.

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