Kyiv denounces meeting as ‘attempt to legitimize representative,’ urges Minsk to ‘refrain from such destructive steps’
Ukraine has summoned its ambassador to Belarus following a meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and the head of the Moscow-controlled part of Ukraine’s separatist region of Donetsk.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemns Alexander Lukashenko’s April 18 meeting in Minsk with Denis Pushilin as an attempt to legitimize this representative of the Russian occupation administration in Donetsk,” a statement by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry read late Tuesday.
Kyiv considered the meeting as “another and flagrant unfriendly act” on the part of Belarus against Ukraine, the statement said, adding it is aimed at supporting Russia.
Pushilin is “hiding from Ukrainian investigation for committing serious crimes and is under Ukrainian and international sanctions,” the statement further said.
Kyiv decided to summon its ambassador to Belarus Ihor Kyzym for consultations and urged Minsk to “refrain from such destructive steps and stop supporting Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine,” it concluded.
On Tuesday, Lukashenko met with Pushilin, the representative of the separatist Donetsk region, one of the four regions of Ukraine that joined Russia after holding referendums last September, which were widely condemned by the international community.
European nations and the US have called the polls “sham” and said they are a violation of international law.
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