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Zelenskyy meets Belgian Foreign Minister who illegally visited Crimea

Sunday, 27 November 2022, 12:03
Zelenskyy meets Belgian Foreign Minister who illegally visited Crimea

Ukraine’s authorities approved the visit of a Belgian delegation that included Hadja Lahbib, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium; the visit was not approved until now because of the minister’s illegal trip to occupied Crimea when she was still a journalist, for which she eventually apologised.

Source: European Pravda; Lahbib’s Twitter feed; Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

Hadja Lahbib‘s Twitter posts says that she arrived in Kyiv with Alexander De Croo, the Prime Minister of Belgium. With him, she attended a meeting with Zelenskyy, had meetings with public activists, and on Sunday visited Borodianka.

On Saturday, 26 November, De Croo announced that Belgium would contribute €10,000,000 to the Ukrainian initiative to supply grain to the poorest countries in Asia and Africa. On the same day, it became known that Belgium planned to provide Ukraine with mobile laboratories and unmanned surface vehicles.


After Hadja Lahbib’s appointment to her post, political opponents reminded her of a trip she had made to occupied Crimea when she was a journalist. When the situation became public, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared that they "would not turn a blind eye" on it. European Pravda highlighted this diplomatic scandal in detail in the article The Dodon Effect. Ukraine clashes with the Belgian Foreign Minister over a visit to the occupied Peninsula.

Once she had been appointed Foreign Minister, Lahbib wrote a letter to her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in which she expressed her support for Ukraine, emphasising the fact that Crimea and Donbas belong to Ukraine.

In August 2022, at an informal meeting of European ministers of foreign affairs in Prague, Lahbib met with Kuleba and explained the reasons for her visit to the occupied Crimea, acknowledging that she had violated Ukrainian law when crossing the border. Initially, the possibility of Hadja Lahbib visiting Kyiv was not mentioned, although she had previously expressed her wish to do so.

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