Belarus, Ukraine continue consultations about completion of ratification procedure for border treaty

Belarus and Ukraine continue “consultations” about the completion of the years-long ratification procedure for their border treaty, Ukrainian Ambassador Roman Bezsmertnyi told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday, as quoted by BelaPAN.

Minsk wants Kyiv to pay a debt that it alleges Ukraine has been owing to Belarus since the Soviet era,” the ambassador said.

But Ukraine “does not see how it is possible for it to bear responsibility for something what belongs to the former Soviet Union and for companies that do not exist any longer,” he said.

In late 2009, Belarus and Ukraine found what appeared to be a compromise solution, with Minsk pledging to write off the debt and Kyiv promising in return to sell electricity to the former at a discount.

The Belarusian legislature ratified the treaty this past April and Mr. Lukashenka signed it the following month.

Reports had it that the Belarusian and Ukrainian leaders planned to meet in Ukraine`s Chernihiv province on May 28 to exchange the ratification instruments, but Minsk demanded at the last minute that Ukraine should pay the $130-million debt.