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Opinions & Interviews

7 Jun 2014

Lukashenko: I have always backed Ukraine’s integrity

Lukashenko: I have always backed Ukraine’s integrity

MINSK, 7 June (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko believes that Ukraine should be a united state. The Belarusian leader made this statement while talking to journalists in Kyiv after the inauguration ceremony of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on 7 June, BelTA has learned.

“I have always backed Ukraine’s unity and integrity. Ukraine should stay united. We, Belarusians, and I personally are interested in it,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian head of state believes that today’s main goal is the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine. “The pivotal issue is to rule out any war. The main thing is to calm the Ukrainian people down. There should be no war. Believe me: in some two or three months after this bloodshed everyone will be ashamed of it,” the President of Belarus said.

“We should all calm down and in the new coming period, I mean the time after the President’s election, stabilize the situation. Ukrainians are very hardworking and smart people. They will deal with these problems. If no one helps them to deal with them, they will be able to do it themselves but they will need more time for it,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The President is confident that Ukraine “will agree with everyone, including Russia.” “The main thing is that Ukrainians, our people, find the way out of this situation. I do not think it is critical. Too many emotions, too much talk here,” the Belarusian leader said.

When asked on who is guilty in the recent developments in Ukraine, the President of Belarus said: “All of us, everyone who was present in the Verkhovna Rada today. There is no need to put all the blame on [Vladimir] Putin,” he said.

Commenting on the events taking place in the south-east of Ukraine, Alexander Lukashenko admitted he was not fully aware of the whole situation. “As I see it, these formations have been created by you, the media. To make them real states, this idea should be present in the heart of every person. I do not think there are many adherers there. You will address this issue yourselves. I am not a big expert of the Ukrainian south-east. I am not even fully informed on the Kyiv situation, never mind the south-east of Ukraine. Hence I cannot talk as an expert. I can talk emotionally, that it is,” the President of Belarus noted.

“You should learn to negotiate with everyone. Otherwise you will go back to the line you were able to leave behind you,” the Belarusian head of state said. In his words, the east of Ukraine “needs to decide on its authorities, hold elections and only then you should start talking to the people you will recognize as officials.”

“The militants that fight against the Ukrainian people should be destroyed. But first sort it out or you will kill your people,” the Belarusian leader added.

As for the Crimea, Alexander Lukashenko noted that the territory “belongs to Russia de facto but de jure there has been no such decision.” “Thus, follow your path calmly and steadfastly, without any assaults and accusations. It is the main thing. Only then the solution to the issue is possible as you would like it to see,” the President of Belarus said. “It is neither the right time nor the right place to discuss these issues. As for the unity of Ukraine, you have heard the speech of the President of Ukraine. I believe he will keep his word. Ukraine should stay united, and it will be so,” he added.

When asked on whether the President of Belarus is ready to act as a mediator in the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, Alexander Lukashenko said he did not like the role of the kind. “I have never considered myself as a stranger in Ukraine and Ukraine as an alien for me. I am ready to do everything you say and what I am capable of without any peacekeeping and mediating efforts. The one who pursue some political dividends and some increased authority is burst to act as a mediator and a peacekeeper,” he noted.

Talking about Viktor Yanukovych, Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the former president of Ukraine had not asked him for an asylum in Belarus. “Here he has a village where his parents were born. I do not think that anyone can deprive him of the right to visit his village. But I advise you: accept your President back, such as he is. Swallow your pride and accept your president back. Let him be in Ukraine,” the Belarusian head of state said.

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