Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Deputy foreign minister speaks in favor of pragmatic and friendly relations with Ukraine

Alena HERMANOVICH, Naviny.by

The Belarusians should always have pragmatic, close and friendly relations with the Ukrainian people because we are neighbors, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Alyaksandr Mikhnevich said on Tuesday while meeting with students and faculty at Homyel State University, BelaPAN said.

When asked a question about the most recent developments in Ukraine and Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, Mr. Mikhnevich replied that the foreign ministry had not been given specific instructions regarding the portrayal of the situation in Ukraine.

In its most recent statements, the ministry stressed that no one should interfere in Ukraines internal affairs, that Ukrainians should resolve their disagreements by constitutional methods, that outside forces should not try to influence the situation in Ukraine, and that there should be no threats to the safety of citizens of Belarus in Ukraine, Mr. Mikhnevich said.

He said that the foreign ministry would issue a special statement and explain its stance on Ukraine after the formation of a new Ukrainian government, the election of a prime minister and the publication of the governments program.

The most important thing is to continue active economic cooperation, Mr. Mikhnevich said. We had a trade of $7 billion, it has fallen slightly now, but it [Ukraine] is a huge economic partner for us. We have similar mentalities, mixed families and no dividing lines, only pluses.

When a member of the audience suggested inviting victims of violent clashes in Kyiv to receive treatment in Belarus, Mr. Mikhnevich replied, I see no arguments against this, thank you for a good proposal. After discussing this issue with the health ministry, I see no barriers [to accepting the proposal].