Unleashing the story of the detention of Russians in Belarus for electoral purposes is unacceptable. This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova at the All-Russian youth educational forum “Territory of Meanings” on Saturday, August 8.
“The guilt of these people has not been proven. It is unacceptable to use this situation with people for some electoral purposes or interests, ”she said.
According to Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry is following the elections in Belarus and will give its assessment “based on the work of observers, but all this will be done after the elections.”
The diplomat recalled that for many years Moscow has been saying that it would be nice to develop, within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a set of rules that would give an idea of what the elections should be in terms of their transparency.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman also believes that the detention of Russians in Belarus is a provocation by a third country. She stressed that Moscow has facts about this.
At the end of July, 33 Russians were detained near Minsk, who allegedly are employees of the private military company (PMC) Wagner. In Moscow, they said that these people were supposed to fly to Istanbul, but missed the flight. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko rejected this version. A criminal case was initiated against the detainees on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, they are in custody.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already discussed with Lukashenko the detention of Russians and expressed confidence that the situation will be resolved in a “spirit of mutual understanding.”
The presidential elections in Belarus are scheduled for August 9. In addition to Lukashenko, five more are claiming the country’s highest state post: Andrei Dmitriev, Anna Kanopatskaya, Alexander Lukashenko, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Sergei Cherechen.