President of Belarus Lukashenko: Minsk will remain a negotiation platform for Donbas
Minsk will remain a platform for negotiations on finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Donbas, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said on Sunday, Belta agency reports.
“This subject was blown out of proportion in the mass media almost to the extent of a scandal. I know this platform will remain. Do you think anybody will go to Asia to resolve European problems?” Lukashenko asked.
The President also said this was a shared opinion in Germany. “We are not taking part in the negotiations; we just ensure the process, exactly as I was asked by Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande [top representatives of the negotiating sides in the Minsk process]. We thoroughly considered whether we needed this or not,” Lukashenko said. According to the Belarusian leader, Belarus agreed to take on this mission for the sake of the soonest resolution of the conflict.
“If they found a better platform - God be with them! We have already played our part. Whether good or bad, the negotiations in Minsk had already served their purpose as they had stopped the war,” Lukashenko said.
At the same time, the President stressed that if the negotiating sides agree to move the talks to other capitals, Belarus will not oppose this decision. “We are not concerned that this discussion is happening. It is not news to me. Somebody may be aiming for a Nobel Prize, others may pursue different goals. But you cannot just wish, you need to make reasonable suggestions so that the rest of the world does not laugh at you,” the head of Belarus said.
As earlier reported, on January 18, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev held negotiations with President of the United States Donald Trump during which he discussed the possibility of moving the talks on the Donbas from Minsk to Astana.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Vladimir Makei said that “the talks on Ukraine could be moved even to Antarctica should it help their success.” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin also cautiously said he did not see reasons for moving the talks from Minsk to Astana.
On September 5, 2014, there were agreements signed in the capital of Belarus that outlined a solution on the settlement of the conflict in Donbas. Since then, twice or thrice a month, Minsk has hosted meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group that monitors the implementation of the agreements.