Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has warned the Russian Federation against steps that could undermine political sovereignty of the neighboring country and destabilize the region in general.
"We warn the Russian Federation against steps that may lead to undermining the political sovereignty of Belarus and further destabilization of the situation in the region as a whole," he said during an urgent debate on the situation in Belarus within the framework of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, as reported on the ministry's website.
Kuleba noted Ukraine's position regarding absolute inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of Belarus, separately drawing attention to Russia's actions.
He also emphasized the importance of monitoring the developments in Belarus with the involvement of international human rights mechanisms and called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council to comprehensively and in a timely manner continue such monitoring, as well as called on the official Minsk to constructively interact with the above institutions.
Read also"Go drink some water and calm down": Avakov ridicules Lukashenko's allegations of Ukraine meddlingThe foreign minister said the striving of the Belarusian society is connected exclusively with the implementation of fundamental democratic freedoms, while the violent reaction of the country's authorities to this peaceful request does not correspond to the universal obligations member states have undertaken to protect human rights.
"The Belarusian society sets a single goal – to protect its choice and right to free expression of will. This is a basic and inalienable aspiration stemming from the value of human dignity, being the fundamental pillar of any democratic society," Kuleba said.
He reiterated the countries of the Lublin Triangle (Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland) were among the first to call on the Belarus government for restraint and dialogue, while hearing in response "baseless accusations."
It is expected the debates will endorse the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus related to the 2020 presidential elections, initiated by the EU and co-sponsored by Ukraine. Taking into account the world's rejection of massive human rights violations targeting participants in post-election protests in Belarus, the document provides for the introduction of a mechanism for monitoring the situation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Belarus protests: background
- 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 14, Putin received Lukashenko in Russia's Sochi. During the meeting, Putin promised to lend US$1.5 billion to Belarus. After the meeting, the Kremlin announced they would recognize Lukashenko as the only legitimate president of Belarus.