Ukraine asked for the postponement of the Ukrainian-Belarusian III Forum of Regions, which was to be held in Grodno on October 8-9 with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for a year, Belarusian Ambassador to Ukraine Igor Sokol has said.
"The Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Ukraine in Grodno in October was planned as a central event on the bilateral track. ... In July, we sent invitations on behalf of the Belarusian government to all heads of Ukrainian regions. As of August, confirmation of participation was received from half of the regions of Ukraine. An official visit of Volodymyr Zelensky to Belarus was being worked out ... Just the other day, the Ukrainian side approached us with the initiative to postpone the Forum to 2021," the ambassador said in an interview with the Ukraine Business Review newspaper, answering the question about the fate of the Forum of Regions with the participation of the presidents of Belarus and Ukraine.
According to him, in fact, joint preparatory work was canceled and the economies of the countries, interregional ties will suffer first of all.
"It is easy to destroy, it is much more difficult to create. Since the leadership of Ukraine has put relations 'on pause,' it means that we will continue to communicate with regions, cities, village councils, business. We are ready for this," Sokol said.
The first Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Ukraine was held in Belarusian Gomel in October 2018, the second - in Ukrainian Zhytomyr in October 2019.
On June 16, 2020, Ambassador of Belarus to Ukraine Igor Sokol, during a meeting with Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva, conveyed an invitation from President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to pay an official visit to Belarus in 2020 and take part in the III Forum of Regions.