Belarus’ being tight-lipped about Kerch Strait conflict is best option – expert

Today martial law has been introduced in 10 regions of Ukraine — those bordering Russia, Transnistria and the Black Sea coast, as well as in Chernihiv region bordering Belarus.

30-day martial law will last until December 27.

Belsat TV has reached Arsen Sivitski, Director of the Centre for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, for his comment on the Belarusian authorities’ response to the situation.

“Currently, Belarus has no reason to change its position on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In fact, it can be described as quasi-neutrality, and it is highly likely that the position will remain the same. Minsk is slow to make any official statements, but it will apparently be trying to retain the peacekeeper’s role and offer to discuss the situation using the so-called Minsk negotiation platform,” he said.

According to the political analyst, it would not pay to side with Russia; in this case all [Western] sanctions could affect Belarus. Minsk has not yet decided how to respond, and its keeping silence might be the best option, Sivitski stressed.

The introduction of martial law was initiated by the NSDC secretary Oleksandr Turchynov after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait. Earlier, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy stressed that martial law will be imposed for a period of 30 days instead of 60, and the presidential election will be held on March 31, 2019.