Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Lukashenko: Ukraine could be stabilised within a year if all sides wanted to

euronews.com

As Belarus continues efforts to broker a lasting settlement to the conflict in Ukraine President Alexander Lukashenko has been speaking to euronews Kyiv bureau chief Sergio Cantone, in an exclusive interview in Minsk about his role as a potential mediator.

euronews
Mr President, are you concerned by what is going in your neighboring country Ukraine, by the tension, the war and the violence, and have you any solution, any proposal as a way out of the situation?

Alexander Lukashenko
These events are happening near our borders, to our brothers, to our people. If I were to be told today, Listen Mr. Lukashenko, there is trouble in Ukraine, something has to be done. Are you ready and capable of doing it? I would have to try. I think that if there is a desire from Ukraine, Russia and the West, then within a year even in this case, the situation can be stabilised.

euronews
I am sure that our viewers are interested in knowing the content of this plan

Alexander Lukashenko
Let me tell you, this is a very dangerous and terrible thing: if there is mistrust of the West in Russia, of Russia in the West, of the USA in Russia and of Russia in the USA and mistrust among the warring parties, I would have been ready to use my armed forces to separate the warring parties.

That is if we are talking about the conflict. If we are talking broadly about stabilization of the situation in Ukraine then there are, on the grounds of democratic principles, reforms of the constitution and the whole political process to be conducted.

While there are oligarchs in Ukraine, who by the way, have their own armed forces, whose interests are far beyond the borders of Ukraine, whose money is not in Ukraine, who can at any moment move out of Ukraine. They have nothing in common with the people of Ukraine.

euronews
Would you be ready to recognize the Donetsk Peoples Republic and the Lugansk Peoples Republic?

Alexander Lukashenko
No, no we maintain an absolutely different position: we would not want the disintegration of the Ukrainian state. Here, many are saying that Crimeas integration with Ukraine was not correct, that it was indigenously a Russian territory and so on this is the wrong approach.

euronews
Are you sure that you are an honest broker in this conflict? Because I have the impression that you are just blaming the Ukrainian side and not at all the pro-Russian insurgencies in southeastern Ukraine. And you did not mention the project of Novorossya, which is still an element of instability in Ukraine.

Alexander Lukashenko
Ukraine has become a theatre of military action and a theatre of dispute between the big geopolitical forces, as Ive said it is not only the West; it is also the East, unfortunately.

As for Russia, I think that both the Russians and the West made many mistakes, but initially the bigger responsibility was on the West. It was not Russia that escalated the conflict in Maidan Square, not Russia which acted there. But certain officials and the whole world knows that and we know that because we were nearby certain officials of the Western states acted openly to instigate confrontation by the participants of Maidan.

From the very beginning I declared that I did not recognize this project Novorosia. I support the unity and integrity of the Ukrainian state. There shouldnt be any frozen conflicts and any zones like Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh are always fraught with the danger of exploding. I do not want that as a person, and as a President of Belarus, as we are situated very close to Ukraine.

euronews
The case of Crimea was a typical case of a violation of international law, the violation of territorial integrity of a European country, Ukraine. And that happened as a consequence of a regime change happened in Kyiv. Is it not it?

Alexander Lukashenko
No, absolutely not. Do you mean to say that the events in Crimea, the actions of Russia in Crimea were revenge for the events on Maidan? Absolutely not. This was a result of mistakes by the Ukrainian government at that moment.

euronews
Don`t you think that this is a kind of civil war within the post-soviet world and that what happened in Ukraine was a kind of shockwave that is now hitting your country, Belarus, your system of governance and the system of governance in Moscow, of the Russian federation and that this is the origin of the huge concern for both countries?

Alexander Lukashenko
In the post-Soviet countries people are fed up with democracy. Now, on the contrary, there is a process going on in which people are more supportive of the concept of a strong state, which will not allow chaos, even more so a civil war, especially after the events in Ukraine.

euronews
Does the fact that the people are fed up with democracy, as you`ve said, justify that a part of the political opposition must go and live abroad, or is being the object of particular attention by the power?

Alexander Lukashenko
As for the leaders of the opposition, if you are implying those of Belarus, of Ukraine or Russia, probably mostly Russia we do not push anyone out. But as you mentioned previously, the law in the country should be respected by everybody including the governing power and the leaders of the opposition. If you violate the law, you must answer according to the law.