Ukrainian politician calls for return of Belgian Embassy in Kyiv

Ukrainian politician calls for return of Belgian Embassy in Kyiv

After Russian forces retreated from attacking Kyiv last month, over 24 embassies have returned to the Ukrainian capital marking the return of diplomatic relations and representation with the war-torn country.

Mariia Mezentseva in Le Soir on Sunday, urged Belgium to reopen diplomatic relations in Ukraine. Others are in the "process of doing the same," she stated.

"We have prepared a letter to Belgian Foreign Affairs to support their return," said Mazentseva. "They can settle in Lviv, in Kyiv, whatever the embassy chooses. But it is time for them to come back."

Having just returned from Ukraine from an invitation from Mezentseva, Belgian politician George Dallemagne could confirm the eagerness to reopen diplomatic channels in Ukraine. "25 Member States have a representation in Ukraine, though not always in Kyiv," Dallemagne said in Le Soir.

"The Netherlands has just reopened its embassy in the capital. I questioned the Prime Minister, we have been told for almost a month now that the issue is being studied."

Dallemagne believes that while security issues are crucial, they shouldn't be overestimated. "Obviously, Kyiv is still a city where strikes can happen, we don't know what tomorrow will bring. But I think we can envisage a flexible diplomatic representation in Kyiv, in Lviv, with an option to withdraw to the Polish border."

The Belgian politician stressed that any representation would evolve according to the security situation. But "it is becoming urgent to offer Ukrainians assistance to deal effectively with reconstruction issues and coordinate requests for equipment more directly," Dallemagne underlined.

Other embassies have returned to Kyiv

Since 1 March, the Belgian Embassy relocated with the French Embassy to Lviv in western Ukraine. There is a Belgian consulate in Lviv, but the embassy has not fully reopened in Kyiv.

However, the representation of the European Union reopened after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Ukraine. The Italian Embassy announced it would reopen and Lithuania has already reopened theirs with reduced capacity.

Related News

Previous Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès announced in mid-April that Belgium was preparing to reopen its embassy in Kyiv but the government has stalled due to security issues.

The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that diplomatic links are open between Belgium and Ukraine and pointed to the work done by the Ukrainian Embassy in Belgium.

Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.