Selin ATAY-TDO- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday that his country has frozen contact with Belarus. Also he said Ukraine joined the European Union in condemning the recent elections in its northerly neighbor as not free or fair.

The foreign minister said there was no reason to break off diplomatic relations entirely. However, he added Ukraine would take a decision on imposing sanctions on Belarus after seeing what the EU would do.

Speaking a news conference, “We put all contacts on pause until the situation in Belarus stabilises,” Kuleba said.

Ukraine has been acting cautiously when commenting on the political turmoil engulfing Belarus, a member of the former Soviet republic, since the August 9 presidential election sparked mass protests against senior leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Even tough Belarus is traditionally a close Moscow ally. The President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko made common cause with Ukraine in refusing to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

While his opponents accuse Lukashenko of rigging the vote to extend his 26-year rule, Lukashenko denies electoral fraud.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for new elections but said it was up to Belarusians to choose their leader. Belarus responded to the Ukrainian President's remark by saying Belarus did not need Ukraine's advice.

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