Updated at 17:58,28-05-2022

Lukashenka will not travel to Kiev?


Alyaksandr Lukashenka will not travel to Kyiv to attend a July 27 ceremony marking the 1025th anniversary of the Christianization of Russia, according to media reports.

Kyiv-based political analyst Mykhailo Pohrebinskiy suggested that Mr. Lukashenka had decided himself not to go to the Ukrainian capital "as he did not want to discuss something with our presidents."

Another expert, Konstyantyn Matviyenko, said that Mr. Lukashenka had likely realized that he was not welcome in Kyiv. "He was invited in such a 'polite' way that gave him no other option but to refuse to visit in the same 'polite' manner," he said.

Kost Bondarenko, director of the Institute for Ukrainian Politics, said that Mr. Lukashenka was still nursing a grievance against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych over the latter's decision not to invite him to a Chernobyl anniversary ceremony in 2011.

The presidents of Moldova, Russia and Serbia are expected to arrive in Kyiv for the ceremony.

Syarhey Pelyushkevich, head of Mr. Lukashenka's press office, could not be reached for comment on July 24 and 25.

Minsk will also host ceremonies to celebrate the Christianization anniversary. Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (Cyril I), as well as the patriarchs of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Georgia and Serbia, the archbishop of Cyprus, and the heads of the Russian Orthodox Church in Poland and America are scheduled to arrive in Minsk on July 28.