Ukraine recalls ambassador to Belarus over Crimea statement

Kiev, March 24: Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Belarus for consultations Monday over the Belarussian leadership’s position on the crisis-hit Crimea.

“In view of the statement made by Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko March 23, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has withdrawn the ambassador of Ukraine in the Republic of Belarus for consultations,” Ukraine foreign ministry spokesman Eugene Perebiynis said.

Ukraine has also sent a diplomatic note to the Belarussian government, saying that Lukashenko’s statement “is not conforming to the generally recognised rules of the international law”, he said, according to Xinhua.

On Sunday, Lukashenko said Belarus accepted Crimea as de-facto part of Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty March 18 to make the Crimean peninsula part of Russian territory following a referendum, during which around 97 percent of the Crimean voters backed splitting from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s constitutional court has ruled the Crimean referendum and the deal to join Russia unconstitutional.