In 1995 Belarus and Ukraine were on good terms and made no territorial claims on each other; their respective minority groups have not voiced any complaints of discrimination. However, ties between the two countries are weak because of their different relationships with, and views of, Russia. Unlike Belarus, Ukraine is determined to be politically and militarily independent. Kiev complains that whenever Ukraine disagrees with Russia on an issue, Belarus backs the latter.
Perhaps the most important Ukrainian issue for Belarus is the Chornobyl' nuclear power plant. Because Belarus suffered the effects of the 1986 disaster more than any other country, it had a strong interest in the shutdown of the plant. It was therefore alarmed by the Ukrainian parliament's December 1993 vote to keep the plant running, despite the original plans that called for closing it at the end of 1993. Yet Supreme Soviet Chairman Shushkyevich's appeals to Ukraine, which was in the midst of an energy crisis, made little difference.
|Country Studies main page | Belarus Country Studies main page|