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14 January 2019, 13:59

Opinion: Ukraine and its people need Belarus as a peacemaker

Viktor Medvedchuk
Viktor Medvedchuk

MINSK, 14 January (BelTA) – Belarus plays an important role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine's Donbass. The Ukrainian politician and statesman Viktor Medvedchuk emphasized the fact after meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 14 January, BelTA has learned.

When asked by BelTA whether the sides of the conflict hear Belarus' stance on the matter, including the repeatedly mentioned readiness to take a most active part in the peace process in addition to providing a venue for the talks, Viktor Medvedchuk said: “The position is heard in Moscow, Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk… The role of the Belarus president is very important. Both for Russia and Ukraine. Particularly for Ukraine, for resolving the conflict, which exists in the east today.”

“Moreover, the active position exists. It may not be expressed openly and publicly yet, including for mass media consumption, but trust me as a man, who is intimately involved in the peace process: I can say that this position is being realized. It may get more complicated by the events, which will happen in Ukraine in 2019 due to the two largest election campaigns – the presidential election and the parliamentary elections – but this role will remain,” the politician noted.

Viktor Medvedchuk backed Alexander Lukashenko's point of view, who believes that the three Slavonic nations should reach an agreement on their own. “Since the Belarusian nation is not involved in the conflict, it may be the perfect candidate for the role of a mediator, for the role of the nation, which can make peace between Ukraine and Russia. It is a very important function and, in my opinion, the key thing Ukraine needs these days as a state and a nation,” he stressed.

The politician noted that a number of matters relating to the establishment of cooperation, which can happen in the sphere of the peace process, had been discussed during the meeting with the Belarusian head of state.

Viktor Medvedchuk pointed out that the Belarus president enjoys the highest respect among foreign heads of state according to all the opinion polls held in Ukraine in the last two years. “As many as 52% of the Ukrainian citizens support him. He is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel with 36%. U.S. President Trump has 16-18%,” said the politician.

The Ukrainian politician stated he is a proponent of restoring friendly relations with Russia despite the fact that there are various political trends and opinions of the existing circumstances. “Taking into account what unfortunately the majority of the nation [in Ukraine] thinks about Russia today and taking into account the extremely radical and hostile relations between Ukraine and Russia, I am a consistent and principled proponent of restoring relations with Russia – both economic and political ones,” said Viktor Medvedchuk. “In order to secure peace in Donbas, in order to improve economic life in the country, there is no doubt all of us – I mean Ukraine and Russia – should start negotiations for the sake of resolving all the issues peacefully. Belarus' role in this regard is very important and invaluable taking into account the personal stance of the Belarus president.”

Viktor Medvedchuk is convinced that negotiations would continue and there would be no alternatives to Minsk as a venue for negotiations and to the Minsk agreements.

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