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"We don't recognize, but we trade" - investigation about Belarusian business on TOT

Belarusians participate in more than 60 companies that work in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. This is evidenced by a new detailed investigation prepared by "Bureau Media". Most of the enterprises were registered after 2014 and are engaged in trade and construction.


"Not to recognize, but to cooperate" - this is how the special position regarding Crimea and Donbas looks like. Western investors don't see these regions at the meeting - it's too toxic for business, especially since there is a big risk of getting on the sanctions lists. As it turns out, Belarusian entrepreneurs have instead launched active activities on the lands captured by the Russians.


Thanks to the "Bureau" investigators, dozens of organizations with Belarusian capital were discovered in occupied Ukrainian cities.


It turns out that Belarusian businessmen, one way or another connected to the dictatorial regime, have been making money in Crimea and Donbas for many years. This generally fits into Lukashenka's political position regarding the temporarily occupied regions of Ukraine. He is in no hurry to recognize them as "new Russian lands", but is always ready for cooperation.

"It will be necessary - we admit. If it makes sense..." Lukashenko said back in July 2022. Despite all the coaxing of Putin, he still did not recognize the occupied territories of Ukraine as belonging to the Russian Federation.


But Ukraine has the legal right to punish Belarusians for doing business in the temporarily occupied territories. Conducting business activities in cooperation with an aggressor country in Ukraine is punishable by up to five years in prison. Both citizens of Ukraine and citizens of Belarus will bear criminal responsibility, because de jure the crime was committed on the territory of Ukraine. Ukraine periodically enters enterprises working on TOT into the state register of sanctions. Currently, there are more than 200 individuals and legal entities from Belarus on the list and it will be updated in the future.


In Ukraine, they promise not to hold ceremonies with those who support the Russian occupiers. "Any manifestation of recognition of the occupation is an anti-Ukrainian act, and the Ukrainian authorities will react harshly to manifestations of such "recognition". It is obvious that sanctions are part of the toolkit of such a response," Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Ihor Kyzim told the investigators.


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