As of today, up to 2,000 Hasidic pilgrims are on the border between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine. Most of them came from Israel, trusting rumors that Ukraine's border with Belarus is allegedly open. The Belarusian authorities are deliberately or unintentionally fueling these rumors with some ill-considered statements.
We will remind our neighbors that Ukraine had to make a decision to close the state border for foreigners due to a significant deterioration in the situation with the spread of COVID-19. Strict quarantine restrictions also remain in force on the territory of our state, which makes it impossible to hold mass events, in particular of a religious nature. Just as in the spring we had to limit people's participation in the celebration of Easter, we now explain that the mass celebration of Rosh Hashanah with the participation of thousands of pilgrims in the city of Uman, the Cherkasy region of Ukraine, unfortunately, is impossible.
We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop creating additional tensions on the border with our country and spreading false and encouraging statements to pilgrims, which may give them the feeling that Ukraine's border may still be open to foreigners.
We are also forced to state that the personal insult of certain persons in the de facto current Belarusian government extends today, unfortunately, to the plane of interstate relations. It bears reminding that Ukraine has taken a neutral position on the political crisis provoked by the dubiously organized voting in the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus on August 9 this year. We uphold the universally recognized democratic values of the European continent and believe that each state must abide by a commitment to fully ensure human rights and freedoms guaranteed by international conventions and relevant national legislation, which at least formally exists in Belarus as well.
We also believe that every state during the pandemic should pursue a transparent and responsible policy aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and refrain from provoking negative scenarios of the development of the epidemic situation in the neighboring countries.