Lukashenka modest about his role in Ukraine peace efforts

Alyaksandr Lukashenka downplayed his role in peaceful settlement in Ukraine, noting that Minsk had hosted peace talks at the suggestion of the leaders of other countries.

“I wasn’t the one who volunteered to be a peacemaker, you shouldn’t attribute someone else’s laurels to me,” the Belarusian leader said on Friday while meeting with a large group of Russian provincial journalists. “We were in consultations for a long time, I understood clearly what I should do.”

Mr. Lukashenka expressed confidence that Minsk, a city "at the center of Europe," was the right place for the Ukraine peace talks. “It would be inappropriate to be solving European problems in China, for example,” he explained. “European problems should be solved in Europe.”

Mr. Lukashenka said that he was grateful to other countries for their readiness to participate in negotiations hosted by “Europe’s last dictator.”

He expressed satisfaction with agreements reached in Minsk. “The peace process has started,” he said. “After all, there can be no winners in this war. This is understood in Ukraine, in Russia and in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.”

Mr. Lukashenka noted that the process would go faster if it had not been for the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, scheduled for October 26. Some “scoundrel politicians need to save their faces, prove to someone,” that they will “not give away the territory,” he said.

Mr. Lukashenka stressed that the conflict in Ukraine could not be settled by military means. // BelaPAN