Lukashenka calls for end to Ukraine bloodshed

He was referring to the agreements signed by the Contact Group on Ukraine at its meetings in the Belarusian capital in September...

Alyaksandr Lukashenka called for an end to bloodshed in Ukraine as he opened a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the Independence Palace in Minsk on October 10.



The summit was attended by the leaders of 10 of the post-Soviet bloc's 11 member states. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was the only head of state missing from the talks.

Mr. Lukashenka warned that hostilities were "unacceptable" at the center of Europe. "I hope that everyone will support my opinion about the need for a speedy end to the clashes in southeastern Ukraine," he said. "The sides of the conflict need not just to find common ground but to end bloodshed and observe the agreements that were reached here in Minsk."

He was referring to the agreements signed by the Contact Group on Ukraine at its meetings in the Belarusian capital in September. They provide for, among other things, a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.

"All contentious issues need to be solved only in a peaceful way, one cannot let the blood of our brotherly people continue to be spilled. This is why Minsk became the venue of talks for the conflicting sides, and we appear to have achieved something along this path," said Mr. Lukashenka.

He warned that the war in Ukraine undermined security and economic development "in all countries of the region." "I will say frankly and this is not just my opinion: we should pay more attention to these problems in the framework of the CIS. Because what can be worse than a war on the territory of one of our partners?" he said.

Mr. Lukashenka expressed opposition to what he described as international talks on the Ukraine crisis "in far-away places such as Berlin or Milan." "A question then arises: why contact us on other issues, economic, political, diplomatic issues? Then you should probably solve them there - in Berlin and Milan," he said.