Ukrainian-Belarusian bilateral relations remain strained and rather neighborly restrained. So experts have described the current visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Ukraine for talks with Poroshenko. Presidents together commemorated the victims of the tragedy at Chernobyl, agreed to deal with the consequences of the disaster, and Lukashenka even promised to help with the creation of a biosphere reserve in the Chernobyl zone. Left overs and some of the controversial and problematic issues of bilateral relations. The old man, during a speech at the Chernobyl NPP, assured that “we are family”, and Poroshenko said that no one will ever be able to pull Belarus into a war against Ukraine”. Also, the President of Belarus was justified, they say, today Poroshenko can’t blame him that some of his requested in the international plan was not implemented. Yes, on the one hand, Lukashenko kindly provided a platform for peace talks on the Donbas than he actually is proud of and enjoys to whitewash his image as a dictator to the West. On the other hand, for anybody not a secret that Belarus is very dependent on Moscow and the position of Minsk on the resolution on Crimea at the UN General Assembly in November last year was very revealing.
Today’s visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Ukraine the second during the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. They first met in Kiev in late December 2014. Then the leaders held closed to the press, and leaders have merely dry statements at the end. Poroshenko thanked Lukashenko for a clear position concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, the Belarusian President promised to help Kiev.
The second official visit of the leader of Belarus to Ukraine, as explained by the source of the website “Today” in Ukrainian dipkrugah, was to be held last year. “Even prior to the date appointed in December last year. But here the position of Belarus at the UN General Assembly at the initiative of the Ukrainian side postponed the visit”, – says the source.
Already, it seemed, and the time for talks has come, and the parties finally appointed ambassadors to Ukraine and Belarus, which were to give new impetus to the relations, but the scandal has shaken the confidence of official Kiev to Minsk. At the UN General Assembly in mid-November of last year, Belarus first tried to block consideration of the resolution on human rights abuses in Russia-annexed Crimea, and then became one of the 23 countries that voted against.
And even today to a joint venture with Petro Poroshenko press conference at Chernobyl, Alexander Lukashenko tried to justify, say, all requests of the Ukrainian President at the international level was performed (referring to the Minsk process in the Donbass), the UN vote proves the opposite. It is no exaggeration to say that this position of Belarus at the UN General Assembly in favor of Russia virtually froze relations with Ukraine almost six months. And today’s appointment of Petro Poroshenko with Alexander Lukashenko at Chernobyl, some experts see as a continuation of the tradition that began with another Leonid Kuchma. “Earlier, the presidents of Ukraine and Belarus have met to commemorate the victims of the disaster at Chernobyl. The first such meeting took place between Lukashenka and Kuchma in 1995, which is a kind of tradition, which from time to time broke off due to various reasons. One of the most scandalous cases occurred in 2011, when the Ukrainian side asked the Belarusian President to take part in events, because it allegedly wanted the then-President of the European Commission (Jose Barroso Manuel – Ed.). Then Lukashenko accused Yanukovych of “lice,” – said Today the first Deputy Director of the Institute of world policy Serhiy SOLODKY.
Petro Poroshenko was important to hear from Alexander Lukashenko that the Belarusian flank of the Ukraine will be safe. This, as stated by the Ukrainian President, the Belarusian colleague of his assured. At the same time, according to co-Director of foreign policy programmes and international security of the Razumkov Centre Mikhail Pashkov, to expect any radical steps from Belarus is not necessary, as its foreign policy has a certain backlash, which is also limited by the Kremlin.
Security factor prevailed at the talks the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus. Especially in view of the upcoming Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West-2017”, which individual member countries of NATO called threat to the security of the Alliance. However, according to experts, one should not expect that Lukashenko gave some guarantees Poroshenko as the dependent Minsk from Moscow on many issues, including on security issues. As it is not necessary to evaluate this meeting, according to Sergey SOLODKY, the categories of trust or friendship. After all, at the parliamentary level bilateral relations of Belarus and Ukraine still worse than at the highest.
According to the MP from NF, co-chair of the group for Interparliamentary relations with Belarus Alexander Kodaly, during the tenure of the Verkhovna Rada of the VIII convocation of the Ukrainian and Belarusian parliamentarians have never met for talks. That, according to Ukrainian diplomats, says a significant cooling of relations between the two countries, and at the parliamentary level – to freeze. “No cooperation with the Embassy of Belarus in Ukraine. This is just proof of how they are positioned for such cooperation. We have not had a single meeting. We made contact with the Embassy, changed the Ambassador of Belarus where, a year and a half ago. Once was the Ambassador’s visit to Chernigov. But the inter-parliamentary cooperation at all. Nor their parliamentary delegation did not come to us nor we to them did not go”, – told the “Today” people’s Deputy.