Why does Ukraine have problems with all neighboring states?

Author : Kostyantyn Gryshchenko

Source :

It is understandable that Belarus has no reason to be friendly with Ukraine. Attempts of Ukrainian authorities to establish productive cooperation with Lukashenko regime over the past few years did not really have a real basis
23:17, 23 November 2017

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Crisis emerged in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. You know, even if there are suspicions or reasonable charges of carrying out activities that are contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, there are different ways of responding, including peaceful ones. We can quietly advice someone to go home. So do states that are interested in partnerships, even when such problems arise. In this case, the Belarusian side took the path of fanning a public scandal, and this is clearly an unfriendly step, regardless of the essence of those accusations that the Belarusian side is pushing.

It is understandable that Belarus has no reason to be friendly with Ukraine. Attempts of Ukrainian authorities to establish productive cooperation with Lukashenko regime over the past few years did not really have a real basis. And this ultimately led to the fact that only under the influence of the Russian side this aggravation occurred.

Let's look a little broader: do we see at least one neighboring country with which we now have a normal relationship? Perhaps, with the exception of Slovakia, there are no other countries without joint problematic issues. This has never happened for the times of independent Ukraine. And this is evidence that we, pay very little attention to work with our neighbors, and they play an extremely important role in terms of security and our economic interests.

By themselves, diplomats can only decide only a part of the strategy of relations with a particular country. Diplomats cannot be independent players. In order to develop such a strategy, you just need to pay enough attention to it and involve all those who understand these issues in the development of such a strategy. If this is Poland, then since the election of the current president for several months, we had no initiative to attract the newly elected head of the neighboring state to a productive dialogue. The same can be said about Hungary and Romania. There must be something we can offer, some joint economic projects, perhaps involving them to solve more global problems. In the same dialogue between Ukraine and the EU, there are many issues regarding transit by both rail and pipeline transport. All this remains beyond the serious attention of those who must determine this strategy. Diplomacy plays a key role here, but it must be strengthened by a material entity. And all this together is also not enough for successful relations.

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I think that the pressure from Russia has intensified, and the dependence of Belarus from Moscow is quite obvious. And of course, they can not in any way exchange important things in relations with Russia, to what Kyiv could offer, and Kyiv did not offer anything special. We do not have a strategy for developing relations with Belarus at this stage, given that there are serious limitations - the failure of Belarus to enter the EU, where member states also have their own problems with building relations with such a regime in the center of Europe.

I still think that we should not exaggerate the significance of the last incident in our relations, since we just need to understand the essence of the Belarusian authorities, and we need to do what is beneficial for us. It is difficult to replace Belarus as the site of the Minsk process, because it is closer, because representatives from Russia can enter freely there. Many of them are under sanctions, with denied entry to most of EU countries. And to find such a neutral ground from this point of view will be rather difficult, it will be necessary to move somewhere to Asia, to Kazakhstan or to Serbia, which, perhaps, is not very acceptable for us. Therefore, if there is no further aggravation in our mutual relations, I think the Belarusian capital will remain good place for the talks of the Minsk format, the best venue.

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