President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko commented on the detention of Ukrainian journalist Pavlo Sharoyko in Minsk and the announcement of Ihor Skvortsov persona non-grata. He said that he "does not aggravate the situation in relations with Ukraine," the local Belta agency reports.
Lukashenko said that he discussed these issues with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a meeting in the United Arab Emirates in early November.
"Poroshenko asked me this, and I told him the facts. I confessed that I was aware of this from the first until the last day of the operation to neutralize the spy network. This is the common practice - chairman of the KGB reported to me right away,” Lukashenko said.
According to him, an agreement was reached in the UAE to resolve the issue without media, and the Ukrainian side allegedly violated the agreement.
"They raised a hullabaloo, everything was poured into the media, what could I do? I canceled my decision and said to put some facts in the media, so that people understand that we are not aggravating the situation in relations with Ukraine. This man confessed where he worked, how he worked. There are a lot of other materials about this. I do not know why this scandal was needed, but they violated our agreement, "he added.
Commenting on Skvortsov's situation, Lukashenko said he does not understand "the Belarusian who worked for foreign, even if not entirely alien, intelligence".
As it was reported earlier Pavlo Sharoyko, a reporter for Ukrainian Radio, was detained in Belarus, as CEO of National Television Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasania wrote on Facebook.
Moreover, Belarus announced the advisor of Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk Ihor Skvortsov persona non-grata due to the detention of the Ukrainian Radio's special correspondent Pavlo Sharoyko.
Ihor Kyzym, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus supposed that the detention of Pavlo Sharoyko, the Ukrainian journalist in Minsk will negatively influence the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations.
‘It is obvious that there is nothing good about our relations. It would be better to compare the harm inflicted by our journalist to Belarus supposedly involved in the agent network with the harm inflicted by at least one briefing of the KGB representative to our bilateral relations, including the political and every-day levels’, Kyzym claimed.