Ukraine: Lukashenko No Longer Has Legitimacy, Opposition Still Lacks It

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made several statements about the situation in Belarus and the relationship between the two countries, RBC-Ukraine reports.

According to Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian side will consider the decision to impose sanctions on Belarus when it is adopted by the European Union. However, the interests of Ukraine will remain in the forefront of this matter, he noted.

“When the EU decides to impose sanctions against Belarus, we will carefully consider this decision. It has yet to be taken. The national interests of Ukraine, political and economic, are important for us,” said the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

According to the minister, Ukraine can become a potential neutral mediator and help to overcome the political crisis in Belarus, but “Alexander Lukashenko put it all on the stifling embrace of Vladimir Putin.” As for the situation in Belarus, Kuleba reiteriated that Ukraine remains on the side of the Belarusian people.

“In short, Lukashenko no longer has legitimacy, and the opposition lacks it. When Ukraine had to decide who to side with – several hundred invited to the so-called inauguration or with millions on the other side of the closed door, the choice was obvious. Ukraine with millions of those who were not invited to this ceremony behind closed doors,” Kuleba stressed.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said that official contacts between the two countries had been paused, and at the moment only working diplomatic channels between the Foreign Ministry remained.

He also explained that Ukraine will officially refer to Alexander Lukashenko only by his name, without specifying the position, since the country does not consider his tenure as the president of Belarus to be legal.

On 23 September, Lukashenko was sworn in as President of Belarus during an inaugural ceremony held behind closed doors in the Palace of Independence in Minsk. The next day Kuleba said Ukraine does not recognise him a legitimate head of Belarus.

Later Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine shares the position of the European Union on the events taking place after the presidential election in Belarus.