Belarus Closes Border with Ukraine

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko denounced the Belarusian announcement On July 2nd by President Aleksandr Lukashenko at an event during the state award ceremony that its border shared with Ukraine would be closed for “self-defence” reasons. The claim by Lukashenko was to stop an influx of weapons being delivered from Ukraine to what have been identified as Terrorist sleeper cells formations coming from Lithuania, Poland, the USA, Ukraine, and Germany with the goal of overthrowing the state. These agents are also accused of attempting to destroying a large number of forest-harvesting machines in state forestry enterprises.

Nikolenko explains that Ukraine’s policy is aimed in support of the legitimate interests of the Belarusian people deserving of a life in a democratic country with integrity and respects human rights and the rule of law. Ukraine rejects Alexander Lukashenko’s accusation of alleged arms supply from Ukraine,” Nikolenko said to Ukrinform. “We have never interfered in the internal affairs of Belarus. We are not going to do that in the future. We expect the same position from Minsk so that the northern border remains a safe space” Nikolenko stated.

“Instead, presenting Ukraine as an external threat fits with a policy of disinformation, repression, and intimidation of the Belarusian people. We are convinced that no absurd accusations and intimidation will be able to distract the Belarusian people from the friendly Ukrainian people and Ukraine as a state that respects and protects human rights,” the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson added.

It probably comes at no coincidence that Lukashenko’s accusations were shortly announced after the country received additional western sanctions following the forced landing of the Ryanair European passenger plane in Minsk and the arrest of an opposition blogger and his wife who was on board. A senior U.S. administration official told Reuters that Belarus “is once again seeking to deflect attention away from its campaign of repression against its people.” The official added that the US “will continue to stand with the Belarusian people and hold the regime accountable.”

On the horizon, Lukashenko appears to being critical of the European support with the Western sanctions. In one statement, Lukashenko stated that “It can be explained by the fact that ‘democratic’ Europe advocating for the rule of law does not care about the people who suffered the most from the barbaric and inhumane invasion of European fascism, and does not bother about observing at least some decencies. Everything is clear: they have embarked on a new march to the East. This does not need extensive evidence. Sanctions were imposed not only on us. Even larger, more sensitive sanctions were introduced against the Russian Federation” said Lukashenko. The comparisons drawn in this statement summarize how tumultuous the relationship currently is between Belarus, parts of Europe, and the western world.