Updated at 18:49,15-10-2021

Presidents of Belarus, Ukraine Meet in Minsk


Close relations between Belarus and Ukraine are a cause for concern for "somebody" but "we are not going to be friends against anyone," Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Minsk on April 29.

Mr. Yanukovych arrived in the Belarusian capital earlier in the day on a one-day visit.

Mr. Lukashenka said that the agenda of the meeting included a wide range of issues related to bilateral cooperation. "Our experts worked in all spheres in order to prepare today's meeting and we don't have such serious problems as, for instance, [Russia's] Black Sea fleet in our relations," he said.

"We must put aside the issues that have been solved and leave the issues that are important, develop some roadmap in relations between Belarus and Ukraine," the Belarusian leader said.

Mr. Yanukovych, for his part, said that Belarus and Ukraine "have always had and will have issues that require settlement and that are of interest to our states."

"We will always be looking for opportunities for uniting in order to defend our interests," he said.
Mr. Yanukovych stressed that Belarus and Ukraine shared the problem of handling the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. "A huge number of unresolved issues remain. For instance, there's no cover over the fourth unit [of the Chernobyl plant] yet and ?400 million is needed for its construction," he said.

The Ukrainian president announced plans for holding a major Chernobyl conference in Kyiv next year that would bring together representatives of donor countries. "Being the countries hit worst by the consequences of this accident, we must jointly call for solutions to these issues and jointly defend our position," he said.

Mr. Yanukovych expressed gratitude to the Belarusian counterpart for the recent ratification of a bilateral state border treaty by the National Assembly. "This will open up new opportunities for us," he said.
He announced that a number of bilateral agreements would be signed as a result of the meeting.