21 January 2018, Sunday, 13:55

Raman Yakauleuski: Lukashenka to implement business projects in Crimea


Minsk's involvement in commercial projects on the occupied peninsula will have a negative impact on relations with Kyiv.

Political observer Raman Yakauleuski said it in an interview with charter97.org.

– What do you think about the outcome of the Ukrainian presidential election, which, by all appearances, was won by oligarch Petro Poroshenko?

– I view the outcome positively, taking into account the conditions in which the election was held. I mean the separatist enclaves in Luhansk and Donetsk. Moreover, the election was held in one round, and Poroshenka is already receiving congratulations. It shows that the Kremlin failed to impose destabilisation with unsuccessful election. It's obvious that it is not Putin's victory on the Crimean model.

– Why did Petro Poroshenka gain popularity so fast?

– Poroshenko is an interesting figure on Ukraine's political stage. I'd like to note that he was an active figure of the Orange Revolution, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the minister of foreign affairs and, under Yanukovych, the minister of economy. He is a prominent person. He can talk to Moscow, but I am not sure he can talk to it now. Judging by Moscow's behaviour, it doesn't have intentions to reconcile.

– How will Kyiv-Minsk political and economic relations develop?

– I think they won't be as optimistic as both sides, including Poroshenko, say. I'd like to note that Russia will try to engage Belarus in its commercial projects in Crimea, which is unacceptable for Kyiv. Unable to resist temptation, Lukashenka won't say no to Moscow. The regime's business activity on the occupied peninsula won't promote understanding between Kyiv and Minsk.

– Poroshenko and Aliaksandr Lukashenka know each other personally. How can it influence the Ukrainian-Belarusian contacts?

– I wouldn't give much attention to this fact. We see examples many politicians who know Lukashenka personally. For example, Radoslaw Sikorski. It's worth noting that the Belarusian ruler doesn't miss opportunities to emphasise that Minsk won't accept NATO in the territory of Ukraine, so close to Belarus. There's a simple answer to it: what Putin has done to Ukraine only pushed the country to NATO.