Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has explained why Ukraine cannot recall the ambassador from Belarus.
He announced this on TV Channel 1+1 on Thursday evening, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"It is not a problem to recall the ambassador. This is also a gesture. This is very serious. Now we have many humanitarian issues. We do not have a political dialogue. Our ambassador is not engaged in political dialogue with Belarus. He is engaged in humanitarian issues," he said.
In particular, Ukrainian diplomats are now helping with the repatriation of Ukrainian patients who have been treated in Belarus and are now left stranded in that country over the halt to air traffic, he said.
According to the minister, an organ transplantation program in Belarus for Ukrainian citizens is supervised by Ukraine's Health Ministry, but the Foreign Ministry is involved in emergency situations when it is necessary to evacuate citizens.
"Twenty-six Ukrainian citizens are now undergoing surgery in Belarus. About 160 more are in the line – they should go [to Belarus] in the near future. Of the 26 in Belarus, ten are already in touch with the embassy," Kuleba said.
He also assures that the diplomats will establish contact with all Ukrainians and provide assistance.
At the same time, out of the ten Ukrainians with whom contact has been established, two have already been assisted.
In particular, with ministry jointly with Kharkiv Regional State Administration found an ambulance for one Ukrainian woman to help her return home safely.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine stopped air traffic with Belarus on May 26. Also, Ukrainian airlines and aircraft are not allowed to enter Belarusian airspace.
Now there are 26 Ukrainian citizens in Belarus who receive medical care (organ transplantation, bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy), and four more Ukrainians are undergoing medical examination.
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Translation: Akulenko Olena