MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has made a few comments about the proposal to move negotiations of the trilateral contact group on the situation in Donbass from Minsk. The head of state made them as he met with a member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Evgeny Shevchenko on 20 April, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Listen, do you think the work of the trilateral group is a gift for Lukashenko? It isn't. President Poroshenko, Putin made the request back then, everyone agreed to negotiate in Minsk. It is close, beneficial from the political point of view. We've always welcomed Leonid Danilovich Kuchma [Ukraine's first permanent representative in the trilateral contact group on Donbass] with arms wide open. We provided everything Ukrainians wanted. They say it is necessary to move the negotiations to another location. Well, at least the leadership and [Ukraine's current permanent representative in the trilateral contact group Leonid] Kravchuk do. Go right ahead. If Ukraine benefits from it, we will only welcome it.”
“But I don't understand why anyone would want to travel to the back of beyond if they can [meet and discuss the necessary issues] right over the fence, at your relatives', at a place where you can go as if it were your home? Why would anyone do it? It is purely political shenanigans. But trust me we don't really care about it. We take pity on Ukraine because the process can take too long or can be actually derailed. You shouldn't do it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.