Ukraine Recalled Ambassador to Belarus for the First Time in History

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The decision to recall the ambassador to Belarus was made due to unacceptable Minsk actions, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said, pointing to the transfer of the alleged Wagner PMC members to the Russian Federation. For the first time in history, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador to Belarus. Ambassador Igor Kizim has been summoned "for consultations in Kiev to assess the prospects for Ukrainian-Belarusian relations in the new reality," alike to "work out appropriate decisions, taking into account the whole range of factors," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said. According to him, the decision was made "solely because of the unacceptable Minsk’s actions." At the same time, Kuleba recalled that on August 14, the Minsk authorities handed over to the Russian Federation the detainees who are considered being members of the Wagner PMC. "This step has undermined trust between our countries and dealt a heavy blow to our bilateral relations," the Ukrainian minister said. He also noted that after detainees transferring, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko "repeatedly and completely groundlessly accused Ukraine of unfriendly steps" towards his country. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced a radical relations change between Kiev and Minsk “Qualitatively new threats, both for the personal citizens’ safety and regional security in general, stem from official reports on the possible active involvement of Russia and the CSTO in resolving the situation in Belarus. The combination of these facts and actions, alike events development in Belarus when the society expressed a vote of no confidence in the presidential elections official results drastically changes the situation in Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, "Kuleba added. At the same time, he assured that the ambassador's summons for consultations would not affect the work of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of Ukrainian citizens in Belarus. At the same time, the statement emphasizes that earlier the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had already recommended refraining from traveling to Belarus due to security situation aggravation. On August 14, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation announced the Russians’ detained on July 29 near Minsk returning home. According to the ministry, 32 out of 33 people returned to the country. The Belarusian authorities called the detainees members of the Wagner private military company (PMC) and suspected them of intending to arrange riots during presidential elections. Ukraine said that the detainees took part in hostilities in the east of the country while nine of them are Ukrainian citizens.