Donbas peace talks may be relocated from Minsk / Photo from UNIAN

Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement Leonid Kravchuk says negotiations on Donbas may be relocated from Minsk, Belarus.

The political situation in Belarus is not conducive to work on the Minsk platform, the official told the Strana news outlet in an interview.

"The people rose up against Lukashenko, and everything suggests the protest will continue. It is very difficult to work in such conditions... Obviously, if nothing changes, we will have to look for another platform," he said.

Read alsoKuleba warns Russia against steps undermining Belarus sovereignty, destabilizing regionKravchuk said the decision to relocate the negotiating platform could be made by the OSCE as a moderator.

"It is about an international platform. Accordingly, the decision will be made at the international level," he added.

Recent developments in Belarus in brief

  • On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. The country's Central Election Commission announced the final election results. In particular, 80.1% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 10.1% voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.67% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.2% for Andrey Dmitriev, and 1.14% for Sergei Cherechnya. Some 4.59% voted against all candidates.
  • Thousands took to the streets to protest what many believe was a rigged vote count. Riot police violently cracked down on protesters.
  • Belarus' Ministry of Internal Affairs said about 7,000 protesters had been detained in different cities since August 9. On the evening of August 13, the authorities started to release detainees.
  • On August 16, the March of Freedom, the largest protest in the history of Belarus, took place in Minsk. Hundreds of thousands of people joined in.
  • Lukashenko has repeatedly claimed "foreign interference" in the election and external efforts to foment the protests. He spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin who had promised him comprehensive assistance upon request.
  • On August 27, Putin suggested sending Russian security forces to suppress protests in Belarus.
  • The European Union declared non-recognition of the Belarus election results and reached an agreement to impose sanctions against Belarusian officials in response to vote rigging and the use of violence against protesters.
  • On September 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on Belarus. Ukrainian lawmakers said the presidential elections in that country were unfair. They condemned repression against protesters and vowed support for sanctions to be introduced by the European Union against Belarusian officials.
  • On September 17, members of the European Parliament voted to reject the official results of the August 9 presidential elections in Belarus, saying Alexander Lukashenko should no longer be recognized as president after his term expires.