Not mediation, but assistance to normalise the environment
By Vladislav Khvorostov
As it is known, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko approached the Head of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, requesting that Belarus act as a negotiating platform to help solve the Ukrainian crisis. The telephone conversation between the presidents of the two states took place on July 29th at the initiative of the Ukrainian side, the Press Service of the President of Belarus informed.
The heads discussed a number of topical issues of mutual interest.
“The President of Ukraine addressed the Head of Belarus with the request to involve Belarus as a negotiation platform for the carrying out of negotiations with participation of all interested sides to solve the Ukrainian crisis. Alexander Lukashenko has agreed with that initiative,” the press-service informed.
As a result, Minsk received a session of a trilateral contact group on the settlement of situation in the east of Ukraine.
Former President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, the Ambassador of Russia to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov and the official representative of the acting chairman of the OSCE on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, Adelheid Tagliavini arrived here. It was informed that representatives of administration of the self-declared Donetsk national republic were invited too. The agenda of the meeting was the following: maintenance of safe access of international experts to the place of wreck of the Malaysian airliner for investigation of causes of the crash, and also the process of liberation of citizens captured by the sides.
On the eve of negotiations, Alexander Lukashenko met with Leonid Kuchma. As the President announced, Belarus will do all it can to aid in the normalisation of the situation in its neighbouring country.
“We will do everything that is needed. Do not read or listen to those who say that it is the some kind of publicity and image. We do not need it. You know it very well. I cannot stand mediation. Being together we will do everything for our Ukraine in order to decrease the tension of the opposition in the eastern part of Ukraine. We are very interested in it,” the Head of State said.
Alexander Lukashenko noted the importance of co-operation between Belarus and Ukraine. Even at the time of Leonid Kuchma’s presidency, the countries reached a goods turnover of $6-7bn.
The conclusion of the President of Belarus, “For us, it is vitally important from the point of view of life of our Belarus, instead of so-called publicity. Nobody uses publicity on blood, when people die. Therefore you can be sure that we will arrange as many activities as needed for the group in which you work,” Mr. Lukashenko emphasised.
Mr. Lukashenko said that during his recent telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, they discussed in detail the problems which develop in this country, “He [Petro Poroshenko] asked me to assist in the organisation of the work of your group. And when he said that it will be you who will work from Ukraine, I was sincerely glad. According to our embassy, you are actively involved in efforts to ease the tensions and stabilise the situation in Ukraine. I was glad that your experience is noticed. Today presidents of Ukraine (there are no former presidents) should join this process and, where possible, bring a contribution for the stabilisation of the situation in our native Ukraine. And when Petro Poroshenko asked me to organise this activity, I told him that we will do everything we can to make things better in Ukraine.”
Leonid Kuchma said, “The question is really urgent — will Ukraine continue to be or not. The events of the last month create more questions than answers. While unfortunately, we still have no answers. And in some measure, we have come here for answers.”
Later, it was announced that the participants of the trilateral contact group (Ukraine-OSCE-Russia), who will meet with representatives of the administration of the self-declared Donetsk national republic at a meeting in Minsk, agreed on two basic discussed questions: the decision on safe access of international experts to the place of the wreck of the Boeing aircraft and the immediate liberation of certain captive people.