The Ukrainian ambassador to Minsk Igor Kizim in an interview with the Hromadske TV channel expressed concern about the rapprochement between Russia and Belarus.

According to the diplomat, the process of integration of the two states can supposedly negatively affect the situation on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.

“How deep the integration goes, this, of course, worries us.

Because before we at least understood, and these were verbal guarantees from Belarus, that our border would remain peaceful.

But how the situation will develop further against the background of the rapprochement of Belarus and Russia - this raises questions, ”Kizim said.  

As the ambassador explained, Kiev looks with concern at the "rather strong relationship" between Moscow and Minsk along the lines of the armed forces, special services and "other law enforcement agencies."

In his opinion, further rapprochement between the two countries "will certainly be negative" for Ukraine.

Kizim recalled that Lukashenka is expected to visit the Russian capital in the near future, where, as he assumes, integration issues will be discussed.

Also, the Ukrainian ambassador drew attention to the statement of the President of Belarus in an interview with Russian journalists that Minsk and Moscow "militarily have a single army."

“But we cannot now predict further relations between Ukraine and Belarus, because we do not know in which direction the relations between Belarus and Russia will develop ... It all depends on how the internal political situation in the country will develop, and this will affect our future relations ", - added Kizim.

  • Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Igor Kizim

  • © Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Belarus / Facebook

"Growing influence"

Experts believe that Ukrainian diplomacy is currently in a rather difficult situation.

Kiev is counting on a change in the political regime in Belarus, but at the same time it does not want to go to a radical aggravation of relations with Minsk. 

“In general, Lukashenka suited Ukraine before the August 9 elections.

But today Kiev is undoubtedly interested in its shift because of the obvious bias towards Russia.

Ukraine expects to become a beneficiary of the unstable situation in Belarus and eventually make the republic a member of the Lublin Triangle, "Yuri Solozobov, director of international projects at the Institute for National Strategy of Russia, explained to RT.

Let us remind you that after the announcement by the CEC of Belarus of the voting results in the presidential elections in the republic, Ukraine took the side of the West, which did not recognize the results and criticized Lukashenka for dispersing the protests.

The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on August 15 directly states that Kiev adheres to the political line of the European Union.

In addition, at the end of August, on the air of the Ukrainian TV channel "1 + 1", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Kiev had frozen contacts with Minsk.

At the same time, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry added that the country's authorities will resume diplomatic relations with the Belarusian leadership only when they are convinced that there are no “reputational, political and moral risks”.

On September 4, at a meeting on the Arria formula (an informal exchange of views between members of the UN Security Council), Kuleba explained that Kiev had to pause relations with the Belarusian authorities and summon its ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim for consultations, allegedly due to non-observance of human rights in the republic.

He also said that Kiev "does not interfere" in the affairs of Minsk.

“I hope that every country - first of all, this concerns the Russian Federation - adheres to the same position and refrains from any actions, including a military invasion, which can further destabilize the situation in Belarus,” Kuleba said.

In turn, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on September 9 in an interview with the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post said that Belarusians do not need "Russian democracy".

“Russia has always had a very big influence in Belarus.

Today the Belarusian people want justice, as well as free and fair elections.

This struggle cannot be stopped, but I don’t think it is compatible with Russia's growing influence in Belarus.

The Belarusian people want true democracy, not Russian democracy, ”Zelensky said.

At the same time, the President of Ukraine noted the inadmissibility of outside interference in the affairs of Belarus.

Meanwhile, as it is believed in Minsk and Moscow, Kiev is one of the parties interested in rocking the internal political situation in the republic.

In particular, in an interview with Russian journalists, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that with the support of the United States, Ukraine, along with other Eastern European states, is trying to destabilize the situation in the country.

“Both we and the Russians know who controls and from where controls: Americans from the center near Warsaw are known through Telegram channels.

The second center is the Czech Republic.

And then Lithuania and, unfortunately, Ukraine create strongholds there in order to influence Belarus, ”Lukashenko said.

  • Protest rally in Minsk, September 6, 2020

  • © Tut.By via REUTERS

In mid-August, speaking to his supporters in the center of Minsk, the President of Belarus criticized Kiev for demanding new elections for the head of state.

According to him, Belarus should not repeat the fate of Ukraine and "become a latrine for Europe."

On September 2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke out on the topic of Kiev's interference in Ukraine's affairs.

At a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei, he said that work was being carried out from the territory of Ukraine to "provoke radical actions" in Minsk and other cities of the republic, and Ukrainian nationalists play a key role in this process.

“Such activities are carried out from the territory of Ukraine.

There is also Stepan Bandera's Trident, there is C14, there is the National Corps, there is the Right Sector * ... Those who try by hook or by crook to provoke riots, provoke violation of laws, ”Lavrov explained.

In an interview with RT, Nikita Danyuk, deputy director of the RUDN Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts, stressed that modern Ukraine is interested in "exporting Maidan technologies."

“Kiev does not want the 2014 revolution to be perceived as a failed experiment.

This is one of the reasons for their desire to spread the ideas of the "revolution of dignity" to Belarus.

In Ukraine, they are extremely dissatisfied with the fact that the protests did not achieve political goals and the regime did not change to a pro-Western, that is, anti-Russian, ”explained Danyuk.

"Opposite effect"

In a commentary to RT, the head of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko noted that Kiev is concerned about the sharp improvement in relations between Moscow and Minsk, because it sees a military and geopolitical threat in this.

“From my point of view, Kiev's position is devoid of common sense.

Yes, the current crisis has brought Moscow and Minsk closer together, but it would be naive to hope that under Lukashenko Belarus could, in principle, turn to the West and become its satellite.

Minsk has always understood perfectly well that the guarantee of the preservation of statehood is normal relations with the Russian Federation, ”says Ishchenko.

In turn, Yuri Solozobov recalled that before the start of the protests, Russian-Belarusian relations had gone through several controversial incidents in the political and trade-economic spheres, which was reflected in the slipping of integration processes.

And the previous tension between Moscow and Minsk suited Kiev quite well, the expert said.

“In the current situation, Russian support has greatly helped Lukashenka.

It is still difficult to say whether there will be any radical integration steps, but a significant warming of relations is evident.

At the same time, Kiev has very few tools to influence the position of the official Minsk.

Apart from loud statements, there is virtually nothing, ”Solozobov stated.

The post-Maid policy of Kiev pursued the goal of fundamentally embroiling Moscow and Minsk, but as a result led to the opposite effect, Nikita Danyuk believes.

According to the expert, Ukraine made a mistake, deciding to follow the lead of the West and freezing diplomatic contacts with the Belarusian authorities.

“Kiev only spoiled the previously good relations with Lukashenka, who, by the way, patronized trade and economic cooperation with its southern neighbor, despite the lack of ideological proximity.

Now it will be extremely difficult for Kiev to restore relations.

Naturally, in such a situation, we see a significant rapprochement between Moscow and Minsk and revitalization of discussions regarding the further development of the Union State, "Danyuk summed up.

* "Right Sector" is a Ukrainian association of radical nationalist organizations, recognized as extremist and banned on the territory of Russia (decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 11/17/2014).