Minsk has lost independent foreign policy.
Ukrainian journalist, Editor-in-Chief of the website Censor.net Yury Butusov has said this, commenting upon the exacebration in the relations between Belarus and Ukraine, for the Charter97.org:
— This confirms that Putin made Lukashenka follow all of his instructions. The whole situation with the detentions of Ukrainian citizens is a clear example, which demonstrates that the Russian special services now rule the actions of the Belarusian KGB. Lukashenka is giving away the country’s independence.
This is very dangerous for the future of the independent Belarus, as it reminds the scenario in Ukraine under Yanukovych. Back then, the FSB abducted the Russian oppositionist (Leonid Razvozzhayev – edit.) in the center of Kyiv. He was later taken to Russia, while Ukraine kept silence and stood aside, having set forth no claims. Although it was a direct attempt at sovereignty and independence of the country.
Russia escalates its pressure, preparing special operation to replace Lukashenka. The whole succession of actions shows that Belarus lost its independent foreign policy and got under a serious influence of the Kremlin.
What concerns Minsk as a negotiation platform for the Donbas, it is clear that Belarus is not a neutral country in relation to Ukraine and it would be better to change the platform.
— How do you think, which steps the official Kyiv should take in response to such actions by Lukashenka?
— It is an urgent necessity to change the whole policy towards Belarus. No development of the military-technical cooperation with Minsk is possible.
I think it is necessary to strengthen the visa control not only with Russia, but with Belarus also, since January 1, 2018.
It is also important to limit all the contacts between the official bodies. The unfriendly conduct of the official Minsk leaves us no other option. As the actions of the Belarusian authorities are consistent. I think it is needed not only to take the mentioned measures, but to assess the situation, to elaborate a complex of tools which would demonstrate that any similar anti-Ukrainian policy is unacceptable for us.
On November 17, head of the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasania said that a journalist of the Ukrainian Radio Pavlo Sharoiko was detained in Belarus. Later it became known about the detention of the director of the Ukrainian PJSC Weighting Plant Oleksandr Skiba, who came on a business trip to the Minsk Tractor Plant.
On November 20, the adviser of the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus, Ihor Skvortsov, was declared persona non grata.
On November 21, the Ukrainian authorities, guided by the principle of reciprocity, expelled the Belarusian diplomat from the country.