If at least one Belarusian plane gets to Crimea, sanctions are inevitable - Foreign Ministry
Ukraine will act immediately against any attempts to legitimize the occupation of Crimea by Russia, and if at least one plane of the Belarusian airline finds itself in the occupied Crimea, sanctions will be inevitable with all the negative consequences.
First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Cepparova stated this, Ukrinform reports.
In particular, as she noted, "we've recorded Mr. Lukashenko's statements regarding the appeal to Russia and Putin with the possible opening of flights to the occupied Crimea."
According to her, these are provocative statements and are probably Lukashenko's emotional reaction to Ukraine's response to the forced landing of a Ryanair plane at Minsk airport, as well as to the Belarusian authorities' continued attack on the opposition and freedom of speech, including the arrest of Belarusian opposition leader Roman Protasevich, mass media persecution, etc.
"We'll act immediately against any attempts to legitimize Russia's occupation of Crimea, against any attempt to establish contacts with the so-called "LNR" or "DNR." And if at least one plane of the Belarusian airline finds itself in the occupied Crimea, sanctions will be inevitable with all the negative consequences, "Cepparova stressed.
She stressed that the full responsibility for sanctions and restrictions of on-air communication with Belarus by the world states, including Ukraine, and for the inconveniences experienced by the citizens of Belarus, lies with Lukashenko.
The Belarusian authorities have crossed another red line regarding not only their citizens but also citizens of other countries and international law, in particular, the rules governing the safety of civil aviation, said the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine and added that such actions could not go unanswered.
Cepparova also stressed that the decision to restrict air communication with Belarus was not a political, but a security issue, "because the actions of the Belarusian authorities are unpredictable, and we cannot assess in advance all the risks of being in the airspace of Belarus."
According to her, Ukraine is fully in solidarity in its actions with the position of the EU, the United States, and the entire democratic world on the reaction to Lukashenko's dangerous actions.
"And last but not least. This 'trouble and provocation,' as Lukashenko put it, was not started by Ukraine, but by the Belarusian government itself, apparently according to the Kremlin's scenario. The stronger Lukashenko falls into Putin's arms, the less chance Belarus has of remaining a truly independent and sovereign state. Ordinary Belarusians, who are very close to us, are already suffering from Lukashenko's reckless and provocative actions. We treat them with great respect and solidarity with their efforts to defend their rights and freedoms. There's international law according to which Crimea and Donbas are Ukraine. Russia brutally violated international law by occupying the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and unleashing aggression in eastern Ukraine, for which it will be held accountable. If Lukashenko wants to share this responsibility with Putin in the same dock in the Hague, and further strengthen his own international isolation, it is, of course, his personal choice, but, I'm convinced, not the choice of the Belarusian people friendly to Ukraine," Cepparova summed up.