Belarus ‘president’ Alexander Lukashenko called Ukraine an “additional threat” yesterday and vowed to close the 1,084 km land border.

“From today, no one from the west or south should set foot in Belarus,” Lukashenko said. “Close every meter of the border.” On July 2, Lukashenko ordered the border closed, but apparently the closing was partial. Next month, Russia and Belarus will hold large-scale crossborder military drills, Belarus’ defense ministry said yesterday. Ukraine’s deputy presidential chief of staff, Roman Mashovets, has called these ‘West-2021’ drills “aggressive in nature.”

With Belarus increasingly coordinating its military policies with Russia, Ukraine is slapping a 35% duty on MAZ trucks and buses,

a move expected to end their import into Ukraine. Belarus’ state-owned Minsk Automobile Plant, or MAZ, has been a major supplier of city buses and oversized trucks for mining operations in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade said it decided last week to impose the tariff in retaliation for Belarusian barriers on purchases of Ukrainian made vehicles, largely buses.

Boycotting Belarusian buses,

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi says he will not accept the results of a European Investment Bank tender that awards the contract for 100 buses to MAZ, the Belarus company. “We have no right to finance the regime,” he said, referring to widespread popular resistance to self-appointed ruler Alexander Lukashenko. “We have Ukrainian producers who need support.” Ukraine’s big bus manufacturers are Bogdan, Etalon, and Lviv’s Electron. “Why is this important?” asks Sadovyi. “Ukraine needs 30,000 units of public transport —