He let it slip.
Having climbed on a pile of pallets and immediately received an extra apt nickname "scum" from the Belarusians("scum" sounds similar to "pallet" in Russian - translator's note), Lukashenka made public something that we had always known about, and the Ukrainians had preferred being indulged in illusions about.
He recognized Crimea as Russian, both de facto and de jure.
He did it in a cynical way, at propagandist Kiselyov's, on the air of the Kremlin television.
The first reaction of the Ukrainian establishment was predictably bewildered: it is not worth paying attention to the words of a madman.
This is almost literally the reaction of Ukraine's foreign minister, who had previously promised a brutal blowback in response to such statements.
I understand him very well. And it's not his fault. For many years, and maybe even now, Lukashenka is the most popular foreign politician for Ukraine. And certainly it is profitable to do business with him - the whole teams of the constantly changing presidents of Ukraine can tell you about it. (They are fine there, they do change there).
It's so convenient not to notice the brutal dictatorship on the borders and to hide behind the excuse that Lukashenka, though a scoundrel, has promised not to recognize Crimea as Russian. And this is all that is needed for a "beautiful friendship."
And then the worst thing happened - he let it slip.
And here one should not put on a mask like in that anecdote - "there's that uncertainty again".
I want to advise in a friendly, well, and slightly professional way to dispel doubts.
To achieve this, it's necessary to do the following.
As early as today, send an urgent request from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry (note) to Lukashenka's Foreign Ministry with a polite request to explain the official position of the regime on Crimea.
Send an official note from the Ukrainian embassy in Minsk to Lukashenka's administration, the Foreign Ministry and the "house of representatives" (just for laughs) with a similar polite request.
Another little tip from the diplomatic practice: not to wait for the answer forever, make a little postscript as follows - "If we do not receive your answer within 24 hours, we will consider the statements of citizen Lukashenka on the Russian state TV the official position of the regime.
And when you receive an explanation or receive a cowardly silence, please understand that it's time to proceed from the real threat and not from the longstanding attempts to turn a blind eye to it. Lukashenka is a threat not only to us, but to you as well.
Andrei Sannikov, coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign, Facebook