Election of Belarusian president will not influence bilateral ties with Ukraine – ambassador
The will of the Belarusian people will determine who becomes the Belarusian president, and this will in no way affect the bilateral relations of Ukraine and Belarus, Belarusian Ambassador to Ukraine Igor Sokol has said.
"We proceed from the fact that the choice of the president of Belarus is the will of the Belarusian people. At the same time, I'm sure that this will not affect bilateral relations in any way, because a lot depends on the attitude of the common people. The attitude of the Belarusian people to Ukraine is known, it is not subject to no change or revision. We expect the same from the Ukrainian people in relation to Belarusians," Sokol said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Sokol emphasized that the basis of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Belarus is deep economic, cultural, humanitarian and family ties.
"The presidential election will be held, it will be the choice of the Belarusian people. In Ukraine, the sixth president is now the sixth sovereignty. And it seems to me that this does not affect Belarusian-Ukrainian relations in any way, because the basis of bilateral cooperation is deep economic, cultural, humanitarian and kindred communication," the ambassador said.
At the same time, assessing the mood of the population in Belarus in connection with the presidential election, the diplomat pointed out that the electoral campaign in Belarus has just begun, the registration of candidates has not yet been completed, and explained that anyone who has gathered over 100,000 signatures can be registered as a presidential candidate.
"Some initiative groups began to carry out illegal actions during the collection of signatures, which involved disturbing public order. It came to insulting opponents not only from the current government, but also insulting law enforcement officials. The response of law enforcement agencies in this situation is absolutely adequate. Their task is to ensure order and stability in society," Sokol said.
He emphasized that "everything should be within the framework of the law: both at the stage of preparation for the elections, and at the stage of registration of presidential candidates, and in subsequent actions."
Answering the question of whether the situation in Belarus is normalizing before the elections, the ambassador said that he considers it normal for the electoral period.
"I proceed from the fact that it is now normal for the electoral period. And I am very glad that the state in this situation fully fulfills its obligations to citizens to maintain law and order and ensure the electoral process in accordance with Belarusian law," the diplomat said.