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18 February 2015

Lukashenko: Belarus could play a bigger role in settling Debaltseve conflict

MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – Belarus could play a bigger role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine, in particular, in Debaltseve, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti on 18 February, BelTA has learned.

“We have a very complicated situation at Debaltseve after the Minsk agreements came into effect. Belarus could play a bigger role in resolving this conflict if the two sides wanted it,” the Belarusian leader said.

“Today we have told the Ukrainian side and the other side involved in the conflict that the Debaltseve problem can be resolved within a day if there is a will for that on the part of Ukraine, Russia, DNR and LNR,” the Belarusian head of state noted.

“We are ready to be more than just an intermediary. We can help find a decent way out of the Debaltseve conflict and withdraw all Ukrainian forces from there under our guarantees that they will never fight again. If someone is concerned by the weaponry held by the Ukrainian military surrounded at Debaltseve, we are ready to take away these weapons and bring them to the territory of Belarus. Thus, it will never be used in hostilities,” the President noted. Alexander Lukashenko added that the consent of the conflicting sides is needed. “If their priority is the life of thousands of innocent people trapped there, we are ready to make this happen within a day,” the Belarusian leader said.

“The people engaged in combat at Debaltseve and those involved in the conflict must be interested in it. You should know that there are all kinds of interests there, hence, different approaches,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that Belarus is trying to contribute to the resolution of the Ukraine conflict, however, it acts mostly in a non-public way.

President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti thanked Alexander Lukashenko and Belarus for the important role in brokering peace in Ukraine. “This is the most important issue in the region. It has a great impact on economy and politics,” Suma Chakrabarti noted. He added that the EBRD greatly appreciates the role played by Belarus in this process.

“The Bank is also trying to do more in Ukraine and we already started this work last year. We hope that the situation will resolve in the coming months,” the EBRD President noted.


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