KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine has frozen contact with Belarus and joined the European Union in condemning the recent elections in its northerly neighbour as not free or fair, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends a joint news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (not pictured) in Kyiv, Ukraine August 24, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Pool Kuleba said there was no reason to break off diplomatic relations entirely, but added Ukraine would take a decision on imposing sanctions on Belarus after seeing what the EU would do. “We put all contacts on pause until the situation in Belarus stabilises,” he told a briefing. Ukraine has so far been guarded when commenting on the political turmoil engulfing Belarus, a fellow former Soviet republic, since an Aug. 9 presidential election sparked mass protests against veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko. While Belarus is traditionally a close Moscow ally, Lukashenko made common cause with Ukraine in refusing to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and has hosted talks on the conflict in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. His opponents accuse Lukashenko of rigging the vote to extend his 26-year rule. He denies electoral fraud. Ukrainian President… Read full this story
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