Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Kyiv expects Belarus to condemn annexation of Crimea

Artyom Shraibman, Naviny.by

Kyiv expects Belarus to condemn Russias annexation of Crimea, Yevhen Perebyinis, spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, told BelaPAN on Thursday.

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, including the referendum conducted in Crimea on March 16 and the subsequent decision to accept Crimea into the Russian Federation, the Belarusian foreign ministry said in the statement in question.

"Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are brotherly states united by the ties of their centuries-long common history," the ministry said. "External forces made repeated attempts to play on contradictions that emerged between us and use them for their selfish ends. We are now deeply concerned about the attempts by politicians, who are in fact remote from the developments that are happening in the region, to decide what is good and what is bad for our Slavic nations."

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.

"To theorize on this subject today means to drive the problem into a dead end," the ministry said. Belarus will exert every possible effort to help Ukraine and Russia to re-establish brotherly and good-neighborly relations, find ways of resolving all existing differences and prevent the use of force."

When reached by BelaPAN on Wednesday, 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 of the principles of international law for the sake of geopolitical interests." "Belarus' stance on this issue is fully expressed in the foreign ministry's statement," Mr. Mironchyk said.