Belarus–Ukraine relations

Bilateral relations
Belarus-Ukraine relations
Map indicating locations of Belarus and Ukraine

Belarus

Ukraine

Belarus–Ukraine relations (Belarusian: Беларуска-ўкраінскія адносіны, romanized: Bielaruska-ŭkrainskija adnosiny, Ukrainian: Українсько-білоруські відносини, romanized: Ukrainsko-Biloruski vidnosyny) are foreign relations between Belarus and Ukraine. Both countries are full members of the Baku Initiative and Central European Initiative. In the waning days of 2021, the relationship between Ukraine and Russia began rapidly deteriorating, culminating in a full-scale invasion in late February 2022. Belarus has allowed the stationing of Russian troops and equipment in its territory and its use as a springboard for offensives into northern Ukraine but has denied the presence of Belarusian troops in Ukraine.

Historical relations

Pre-1991 background

Alexander Lukashenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Zhytomyr on October 4, 2019.

Both countries, each historically part of Kievan Rus' (9th to 13th centuries CE), came gradually under the control of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795), and ultimately, of the Russian Empire (1721-1917). The Second Polish Republic ruled parts of each in the period from 1918 to 1939. Prior to the 1991 breakup, both countries formed part of the Soviet Union (founded in 1922) as the Byelorussian SSR (founded in 1920) and Ukrainian SSR (founded in 1919); they both became founding members of the United Nations in their own right in 1945. As Slavic nations, both Belarus and Ukraine share closely related cultures and are predominantly inhabited by the East Slavic ethnic groups of Belarusians and Ukrainians respectively.

There was an extensive period of diplomatic cooperation from 1918 to 1921 when the Belarusian Democratic Republic made contacts with the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR) and the Ukrainian State of Pavlo Skoropadsky. Skoropadsky's government made the largest overtures to the Belarusians, with him himself informally recognizing the Belarusian DR as de facto independent in October–November 1918, although de jure recognition did not materialize. The UNR, although hesitant in the beginning, ultimately attempted to follow this route in international relations after Skoropadsky's fall. During this period, although without formal recognition, both countries established diplomatic ties in May 1918, exchanged diplomatic missions, the Ukrainians provided financial assistance to the Belarusian government and there were ideas of a federated defensive alliance between Ukraine and Belarus.[1]

Modern era

Today, the two countries share an 891–km border. An agreement on the state border between Belarus and Ukraine signed in 1997 was to be submitted to the Belarusian parliament for ratification after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko finished the process of the formalization of the border issues between the two states in early November 2009.[2]

Breakdowns in relations

In August 2020, during the Belarusian protests against Lukashenko, Ukraine recalled its Ambassador to Belarus for the first time to assess "the new reality" and prospects of further bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.[3] Belarus returned detained contractors (whom Lukashenko said were part of the Wagner Group) to Russia,[4] coming in defiance of Ukrainian calls to send those who were detained to Ukraine to be prosecuted for their role in the War in Donbass. In a meeting with member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Yevgeniy Shevchenko in April 2021, Lukashenko criticized former Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk for suggesting that Minsk be removed as a host in the Normandy Format as a result of the protests.[5]

In response to the forced diversion of Ryanair Flight 4978 by the Belarusian government in May 2021, Ukraine banned Belarusian airlines from operating in Ukrainian airspace.[6] In addition, Ukraine joined the European Union in imposing sanctions on Belarusian officials.[7] In response to Ukraine, Belarus imposed new trade barriers on a variety of Ukrainian goods entering Belarus.[8]

Letter from Head of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine S. V. Deyneko to State Border Committee of Belarus A. P. Lappo, 26.02.2022

In February 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine from Belarus.[9] Belarus has also stated that Russian nuclear weapons will be on Belarusian soil.[10]

Diplomatic visits

Resident diplomatic missions

  • Embassy of Belarus in Kyiv

    Embassy of Belarus in Kyiv

  • Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk

    Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk

See also

  • flagBelarus portal
  • flagUkraine portal
  • iconPolitics portal

References

  1. ^ Міхалюк, Д. (2017). "Дипломатичні архіви Білоруської Народної Республіки 1918–1921 років як джерело вивчення білорусько-польських та білорусько-українських відносин / Д. Міхалюк". Спеціальні історичні дисципліни: питання теорії та методики (in Ukrainian): 33.
  2. ^ Belarus to ratify border agreement with Ukraine Archived November 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (November 5, 2009)
  3. ^ "Ukraine recalls its ambassador to Belarus". Reuters. 2020-08-17. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  4. ^ "Belarus hands over alleged mercenaries to Russia: Russian prosecutor". Reuters. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Lukashenko: I have always had good relations with all Ukrainian presidents". eng.belta.by. 2021-04-20. Archived from the original on 2021-04-24. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  6. ^ Polityuk, Pavel (28 May 2021). "Ukraine will ban Belarus airlines from using its airspace from May 29". nasdaq.com. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  7. ^ Talant, Bermet (20 November 2020). "Ukraine joins EU sanctions against Belarusian officials". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Ukraine says Belarus has imposed trade barriers in plane row". Reuters. 28 May 2021.
  9. ^ Murphy, Paul (24 February 2022). "Troops and military vehicles have entered Ukraine from Belarus". CNN. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  10. ^ McDonald, Scott (27 February 2022). "Belarus to Host Russian Nukes in Major Reversal of Post-Soviet Order". Newsweek. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Ukraine keen on further dialogue with EU, Eurasian Troika – Poroshenko". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  12. ^ Miller, Christopher (11 February 2015). "What's at stake as Putin, Poroshenko meet in Minsk to talk peace". Mashable. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  13. ^ "The First Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine in Gomel | BelCCI". www.cci.by. Retrieved 2020-09-05.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev also took part in the celebrations".
  15. ^ "On October 27 the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko together with presidents of Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the memorial complex "Park of Glory" in Kiev".
  16. ^ Embassy of Belarus in Kyiv
  17. ^ "Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk". Archived from the original on 2019-07-15. Retrieved 2019-11-09.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Relations of Belarus and Ukraine.
  • Belarusian embassy in Kyiv (Ukrainian-language link)
  • Belarusian embassy in Kyiv (Russian-language link) Archived 2017-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  • Ukrainian embassy in Minsk (in Russian and Ukrainian only)
  • Belarus and Ukraine cooperate in the face of Russian pressure Belarus Digest
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