Monday, 26 September 2005

Belarus Rejects Ukraine's Mediation Offer With EU

26 September 2005 -- Belarus today refused an offer of help from Ukraine for it to mediate between Belarus and the European Union amid a growing row.

Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk made the offer today in Kyiv after having talks with his Belarusian counterpart Siarhiej Martynov.

However, Martynov said that Belarus "doesn't need outside help," saying: "[Belarus], as a sovereign state, will make its own decisions about processes taking place in its society and it does not need outside help, with all respect to brotherly Ukraine."

Ukraine's offer comes as European officials criticize a recent crackdown on Belarus's Polish minority. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka accuses Poland of working with the European Union and the United States to encourage Belarusian Poles to help oust him from power.