Serhiy Garmash, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas, considers the proposal by self-proclaimed President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, that the "investigators from Donbas" interrogate a dissident journalist detained in Minsk as de facto recognition of Russia's puppet "republics" in Donbas.
"Lukashenko's statement that he has suggested to Putin that 'investigators from Donbas' come to Belarus and interrogate NEXTA editor-in-chief Roman Protasevich, abducted by the KGB-FSB, may be considered as de facto recognition by Lukashenko's regime of puppet 'republics,'" he wrote on Facebook.
Read also NSDC says plane hijacking in Belarus could be operation by Russian intelligence Garmash asked whether "the Belarusian usurper forgot that the territory of occupied Donbas is the territory of Ukraine", and that this is "Minsk, the city where the so-called Minsk agreements were signed, securing this postulate as the basis for a peaceful settlement of the conflict with Russia in Donbas!"
The Ukrainian official believes this is a deliberate and demonstrative step.
"Moreover, it is indicative that he has sent invitations to the puppet 'investigators' of the 'republics' through the real second party to the conflict – the president of Russia. Of course, after that Moscow has practically no arguments against moving the negotiation process from Belarus to another country. After this statement, Minsk has already openly ceased to be neutral," Garmash said.
According to him, the actions by Lukashenko's regime have made Belarus openly hostile toward Ukraine.
"In fact, Minsk has already become a threat to our country. In such conditions, we must intensify our support for the Belarusian opposition, and not help the Russian FSB fight it," Garmash added.
Earlier, Lukashenko said "investigators from Donbas" could interrogate dissident journalist Roman Protasevich, who had recently been detained upon the forced landing of a passenger plane he was flying in Minsk Airport. In late May, the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic" opened a case against Protasevich for allegedly participating in hostilities in Donbas.