Belarusian foreign minister accuses Kyiv of reluctance to comply with Minsk agreements
Belarus' Foreign Ministry Vladimir Makei has concluded from remarks made by the head of the Ukrainian delegation in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Leonid Kravchuk, that Kyiv does not want to comply with the Minsk agreements to settle the armed conflict in Donbas.
"This sort of bacchanalia around this statement [made by Kravchuk about relocating the TCG talks from Minsk] suggests that some Ukrainian politicians are reluctant to comply with the agreements that were reached in Minsk," Makei said on Belarus 1 television channel on Saturday.
To Belarus it does not matter where these meetings will take place, he said. "They can be held even in Antarctica, the main thing is to achieve a specific result, which is to stop the hostilities in eastern Ukraine," Makei said.
Kravchuk's suggestion that the TCG meet in a neutral country such as Poland is ridiculous, he said. "I don't know where Mr. Kravchuk is originally from, but this joke-phrase of his is worthy of the feather pen of late Mikhail Zhvanetsky who was from Odesa. You won't find a more 'neutral' country than Poland in the whole world," Makei said.
He recalled that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that Minsk had been invited to mediate the talks. "And we did not impose ourselves on this process, in which we found ourselves involved at the request of Ukraine, and Germany, and Russia, and France. We absolutely honestly fulfilled the obligations we were asked about: to provide for TCG work (the organizational, protocol and technical aspects). We received no complaints. There were thanks from Ukraine, from Russia and from the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe]. There are specific documents on this score.
"We weren't seeking a peacemaker's laurels. We were asked to assist with settling the crisis in eastern Ukraine and we honestly tried to fulfill this request. If they don't want to continue working, they can look for another place. That is not the point, these are all certain tricks. The point is, all sides must be sincerely interested in swiftly settling the crisis in the east of Ukraine, not attempts to circumvent the Minsk agreements, among other things," Makei said.
Kravchuk had said that once the coronavirus pandemic was over the Donbas negotiation could be moved from Minsk to Poland.