Lukashenko's main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Svetlana Tikhanovskaya / REUTERS

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has named conditions for holding a meeting with leaders of the Belarusian opposition.

He announced them during a break in the TV program "Freedom of Speech by Savik Shuster" on TV Channel Ukraina.

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"Ukraine is in constant dialogue with the Belarusian people. It does not exchange words of support, but makes decisions in support of the Belarusian people. This is also a dialogue," Kuleba said.

"We are ready to conduct a dialogue with the leaders of the Belarusian opposition. But as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, before entering into this dialogue, I must clearly make sure what will be the position of those people in relation to Ukraine, in relation to Russian aggression, in relation to the illegal occupation of Crimea if they will come to power, and, in particular, with our support," Kuleba stressed.

He also said that Ukraine in no way wants and will not interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus.

"But we clearly want to understand what kind of policy the opposition leaders will pursue if they become those in power. After that, I am ready to meet. In the meantime, what they are voicing is very much about nothing," he said.

Elections and protests in Belarus: Background

  • On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. According to the Central Election Commission's official data, 80.1% of voters backed Alexander Lukashenko, and 10.1% voted for his main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
  • Following the announcement of the election outcome, protests swept across the country. Security officials have been detaining and using force against protesters, opening politically charged cases against opposition figures. Hundreds have been injured, with a few lethal incidents reported.
  • The Belarusian opposition has created the Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power.
  • The European Union has not recognized the election results and decided to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for rigging the vote and violently cracking down on protesters.
  • On September 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on Belarus. The MPs branded the elections unfair, condemned repression, and supported EU sanctions against Belarusian officials.
  • Lukashenko on September 23 secretly sworn in a ceremony held behind closed doors in Minsk.
  • On October 26, a national strike of indefinite duration began in Belarus.