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Belarusian leader urges end to conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible

MINSK, January 14. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko met on Monday with Kiev’s Envoy to the Humanitarian Subgroup for Donbass Viktor Medvedchuk to discuss the situation, stressing that it was necessary to end the conflict as soon as possible.

The president said that he was aware of Medvedchuk’s stance on normalizing ties between Russia and Ukraine, but he would like to once again listen to his view of the developments. "In the context of our - Belarus’s - future actions, information is crucial for us. I would even tell you that you must clue me in on this situation. I must personally make sure that my position is correct, or I’ll abandon it if I am mistaken," vowed the head of state.

"This imbroglio (conflict in Donbass) - one cannot call it otherwise, must come to an end. We are giving our enemies and rivals a gift all by ourselves," Lukashenko added.

Medvedchuk, for his part, emphasized Lukashenko’s personal role and the role of Belarus in the settlement in Donbass. He highlighted that Belarus provided a platform for negotiations to resolve the situation and the approved Minsk deal remains the only plan for a peace settlement. "Despite not being implemented unfortunately, this is the only agreement that exists as a peace plan," the politician said. Still, all parties understand that peace can be only on the conditions signed in Minsk," he emphasized.

Medvedchuk said that for many Ukrainians who want to see peace in Donbass, Minsk was not only a site provided by the fraternal Belarusian people, but also a hope that "a peace settlement will be achieved after all."

In February 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko held 17-hour-long talks in Minsk, approving the Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements - the basis for peace in Donbass. Since then, numerous phone talks, summits and ministerial meetings have been held.