Poroshenko calls for tough sanctions against Lukashenko's regime, demands investigation of 'Wagner members' case
The imposition of new sanctions against the Belarusian regime and its Russian patrons should be an adequate response to Lukashenko's gross violations of the principles of democracy, fifth President of Ukraine, leader of the European Solidarity party Petro Poroshenko said.
"Personal sanctions should be imposed against the masterminds and perpetrators of the kidnapping crime. Air flights over the territory of Belarus should be stopped. A ban on flights of Belavia aircraft to Ukrainian airports should be imposed. The import of Belarusian electricity to Ukraine should be stopped immediately. Strengthen the work of the Ukrainian special services to neutralize threats to the life and health of opponents of the Belarusian tyranny who have found refuge in Ukraine," Poroshenko said on Facebook.
He called on the European Union, the United States and other partners to impose similar sanctions against Belarus, and the Ukrainian authorities to immediately impose these sanctions and further synchronize them with international ones.
Poroshenko also condemned the methods of struggle of Lukashenko regime with the democratic opposition.
"Raman Protasevich, like other political prisoners, must be immediately and unconditionally released. The rights of the Belarusian opposition must be ensured. Back in August last year, I said that only by holding new presidential elections in accordance with high OSCE standards, Belarus can return to the path stable democratic development. Now it is obvious that Lukashenko himself can no longer take part in such elections," he said.
"I stress that the new crime of the Belarusian regime in no way means that Russian spies in the Ukrainian government should not be punished for leaking secret information to the Russians about the special operation to detain occupation fighters from the Russian private Wagner army, implemented jointly with the intelligence services of one of the leading NATO countries," Poroshenko said.
He said the arrest of Protasevich in Belarus and the special operation to arrest the "Wagner members" have fundamentally different goals.
"Do not confuse the sinful with the righteous. Lukashenko illegally detained the oppositionist, and the Ukrainian special operation was aimed at bringing to justice dozens of Russian war criminals who killed people in Ukraine and other countries of the world. Therefore, any parallels between the disrupted operation of our special services, the purpose of which was to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression, and the abduction of the opposition leader on the instructions of the Belarusian dictator," Poroshenko said.