Ukraine has frozen dialogue with Belarus -foreign minister

Ukraine has frozen contact with Belarus and joined the ecu Union in condemning the recent elections in its northerly neighbour as not free or fair, secretary of state Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday.

Ukraine has frozen dialogue with Belarus -foreign minister

Kuleba said there was no reason to interrupt off diplomatic relations entirely, but added Ukraine would take a choice on imposing sanctions on Belarus after seeing what the EU would do.

"We put all contacts on pause until things in Belarus stabilises," he told an appointment

Ukraine has thus far been guarded’ when commenting on the political turmoil engulfing Belarus, a fellow former Soviet republic, since an Aug. 9 presidential election sparked mass protests against veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko.

While Belarus is traditionally an in depth Moscow ally, Lukashenko made common cause with Ukraine in refusing to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and has hosted talks on the conflict within the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

His opponents accuse Lukashenko of rigging the vote to increase his 26-year rule. He denies electoral fraud. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has involved new elections but said it had been up to Belarusians to settle on their leader.

Belarus responded saying it didn't need Ukraine's advice, the Belarusian news outlet reported.

Ukraine has temporarily banned the entry of foreigners into the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, but Kuleba said Belarusians eager to escape their political crisis could be exempted and given’ entry permits.

Ukraine was angered’ when Minsk decided to not extradite a gaggle of Russians detained in Belarus in July despite initially being receptive to the thought. Belarus had accused the lads of seeking to destabilise the country, marking an unusual diplomatic row with Russia that was later, patched up.

At the time, Russia had said the lads were private security workers on their thanks to a 3rd country. Russian President Putin said on Thursday the lads had been lured’ to Belarus by a Ukrainian-U.S. intelligence.

Ukraine denied such an intelligence existed but wanted to extradite 28 of the group, suspecting the lads of fighting alongside Russian-backed separatists within the Donbass. Belarus initially agreed to cooperate within the case with Ukraine, but instead handed the lads to Russia this month.


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