Belarus President plans meeting with Ukraine’s leaders to discuss bilateral cooperation

Photo: Belarus President plans meeting with Ukraine’s leaders to discuss bilateral cooperation / Politics

President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus told Ukrainian TV Friday he planned meeting with the acting interim president of Ukraine, Alexander Turchinov, who had been appointed to do the job by the Vekhovna Rada, ITAR-TASS reported.

"I maintain relations with Turchinov and I also spoke to representatives of the incumbent coalition, including Vitaly Klitschko," he said. "I hope Turchinov and I will meet shortly and will look at the ways of keeping up relations between our countries. We are neighbors, aren't we?"

He also said he did not recognize Viktor Yanukovich as Ukraine's President anymore. In spite of all the ups and downs of the situation, "Yanukovich was to stand by his people."

"First hiding in his residence and indulging in his powers and then running away? I criticize him for this as a friend," Lukashenko said speaking live on a show hosted by anchorman Savik Schuster.

He also said he was ready to take on the role of mediator in resolving the crisis in relations between Ukraine and Russia.

"If I'm told that this is important for my Ukraine and my Russia, then I'm ready to act as a mediator," he said, adding however that he was not seeking this part for himself.

"In April, I'll have a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Minsk and that'll be an occasion for acting as a mediator, although I'm not craving for this function for myself," Lukashenko said.

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