Kyiv: relations with Belarus will never again be normal

Belarus has an unfriendly policy towards Ukraine, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on air of the TV channel Pryamoi.

"This is an unfriendly policy, and we should not tolerate it," the minister said, commenting on Minsk's decision to hand over to Moscow the detained Wagner PMC fighters in July and the recent statements of the country's President Alexander Lukashenko.

"Obviously, relations with Belarus can no longer be as they were before," he added. According to Kuleba, human rights are systematically and widely being violated in Belarus.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister said that Russia is starting to bring its specialists to Belarus, and Kyiv is accused in the end.

On July 29, 33 Russian citizens were detained in Belarus, whom the Belarus law enforcement agencies accused of preparing mass riots before the presidential elections. The Belarusian authorities claimed that the detainees were fighters of the Russian private military company the Wagner Group. The Kremlin stated that the detainees had no tasks in Belarus and were going to South America.

Kyiv identified among them persons wanted and suspected of terrorist activities in Ukraine and demanded their extradition. Alexander Lukashenko in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Gordon promised to extradite "these militants" to Ukraine.

However, after the presidential elections on August 14, Minsk handed over the Russians to Moscow. Kyiv condemned the decision. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the detention of Russian citizens in Belarus was a joint operation between Ukrainian and American special services. Kyiv rejected these reports calling them a "well-thought-out and planned disinformation campaign."

In early September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after a meeting with his Minsk counterpart Vladimir Makei that there are about 200 extremists trained in Ukraine who are responsible for violence during the Belarusian protests.

During an Arria-formula informal meeting of the UN Security Council, Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, said that the protests in Belarus are coordinated from Ukraine.

  Lukashenko, Belarus, Ukraine