Europe News

Ukraine warns Russia on Belarus interference as UK flags sanctions

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (not pictured) in Kyiv, Ukraine August 24, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Pool

GENEVA (Reuters) - Ukraine’s foreign minister warned Russia on Friday against taking steps that undermine may undermine Belarus’ sovereignty and destabilise the region, while Britain called for sanctions on those in Belarus responsible for the “fraudulent elections”.

Dmytro Kuleba, speaking at an urgent debate on Belarus at the U.N. Human Rights Council, he said: “It is heartbreaking to watch the footage of our close neighbours viciously beaten down and arbitrarily detained on the streets of their native cities.”

“We warn the Russian Federation against taking steps that may lead to undermining political sovereignty of Belarus and thus destabilizing the wider region,” he said.

Wendy Morton, Britain’s junior foreign minister, told the talks: “The UK also supports sanctions against those responsible. We are working with our international partners to hold the Belarusian authorities to account.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra