Despite difficulties in bilateral relations, Belarus and Ukraine appear to be ready to resume cooperation on security matters to meet their pragmatic interests. Yet political issues between Kyiv and Minsk have not been resolved.
On March 1st, 2018, Deputy Heads of the Border Agencies of Belarus and Ukraine Igor Butkevich and Vasily Servatyuk accordingly, discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation on border security during the working meeting in Kyiv. In particular, the parties have planned a special joint border operation later this year and said they would continue to coordinate measures to curb illegal border activity.
On March 6th, 2018, Belarusian State Border Committee Head Anatoly Lappo and Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Kizim met in Minsk. The parties discussed topical issues of ensuring Belarusian-Ukrainian border operations and international funding opportunities for assistance in organising border security of the common border. They agreed that effective cooperation on border issues was a necessary element of good-neighbourly relations between Belarus and Ukraine.
Throughout 2017, the Belarusian-Ukrainian security relations showed a consistent downward trend. There was a confidence breakdown between Kiev and Minsk and both sides were to blame.
The readiness to develop pragmatic cooperation on security matters signals that neither Belarus nor Ukraine intend to complicate bilateral relations. That being said, close bilateral cooperation between the states is unlikely. Minsk and Kyiv are likely to interact primarily at the departmental level not only when it suits interests of both states, but also when it does not create additional and significant problems for their relations with third states.