Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Belarus in dilemma: Kyiv expects condemning annexation of Crimea

Belsat / BelaPAN

Kyiv expects Belarus to condemn Russias annexation of Crimea, Yevhen Perebyinis, spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, said on Thursday. But Belarus is still swimming between two waters: Minsk assured both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities of friendship.

When asked to comment on the Belarusian foreign ministrys statement issued on March 19, Mr Perebyinis said, "We have always had a mutual understanding with the Belarusians. I did not see signs of support for Russias actions in that statement. That was a positive signal from Belarus.

However, the statement certainly did not make it clear whether or not Belarus condemned the annexation of Crimea. This is what we would like to hear from our Belarusian friends and partners, Mr Perebyinis said. The entire world is doing so. Such things should not be tolerated in the 21st century. The previous annexation happened in 1939 and now we have experienced a new annexation. That is why we still hope that our friends will support us in this matter.

The Republic of Belarus cannot be indifferent to the developments in Ukraine, the Belarusian foreign ministry said in the statement in question. Belarus is opposed to a one-sided and biased interpretation of the principles of international law for the sake of geopolitical interests and attempts to claim that some international situations and territories are special cases and to ignore others," the ministry said.

When reached by news agency BelaPAN, Dzmitry Mironchyk, the foreign ministry's spokesman, refused to explain whether it was Russia or the West that had a "one-sided and biased interpretation." "Belarus' stance on this issue is fully expressed in the foreign ministry's statement," Mr Mironchyk said.

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President Lukashenka gave way to pressure from Moscow and assumed increased Russian military presence in Belarus. At the same time, the authorities do not doubt the need to preserve Ukraines territorial integrity so as not to spoil relations with the West and the new Ukrainian leadership.