Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Lukashenka meets ex-Ukraine president Yushchenko in Minsk


Lukashenka meets ex-Ukraine president Yushchenko in Minsk
Victor Yushchenko (left) and Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Photo: president.gov.by
Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka on 8 October met in Minsk with the former president of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko. In remarks for the press, Lukashenka talked about the smuggling of arms from Ukraine.

"You know my stance on the developments in Ukraine. By no means we want to interfere in the events in Ukraine. Bluntly speaking, we mind our own business. But frankly - and we will talk more about it - the Ukraine developments have a huge effect on us, especially it is about the influx of weapons across the Ukrainian border. We seize a lot of weapons," Lukashenka noted.

According to the Belarus president, there were cases when arms were smuggled from Ukraine via Russia. "I have told the Russian president about it. This is our main concern," he said. It is not known what Victor Yushchenko replied to him, because Aliaksandr Lukashenka's press office does not elaborate on it.

"But it could have been much worse. Frankly speaking, there is no hostility from Ukrainians towards Belarusians. There is no clash between the peoples. This is the most important thing. This gives us hope. This is the basis for our good relations. There are many problems, and I am ready to dicuss them," Lukashenka said.

On 24 September, President Lukashenka ordered to reinforce the southern border of Belarus on the grounds that many weapons had been smuggled into the country from Ukraine. To justify his decision, he mentioned the arrest of the head of an electric power station at the sugar plant in Haradzieja who was found to be in possession of an arsenal of pistols, automatic rifles, grenades and even a machine gun.

Ukraine's Border Control Service chief Piotr Tsyhikal immediately denounced these allegations stressing he knew no facts about the contraband of weapons from Ukraine into Belarus.

"We exchange reports with Belarusians every month. Besides, the first deputy head of our agency Vasyli Servatiuk talked with the first deputy head of Belarusian border control committee and the latter assured us he had no facts with regard to the movement of weapons across the border. The seizure of weapons during a police raid at a private flat in the Homiel region had nothing to do with the border controls," Tsyhikal stressed.