MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. The situation that emerged after Russian citizens were detained in Belarus requires a balanced approach, as it is important to make sure that the events are not staged as a provocation, Chair of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky told TASS Thursday.
"We need to get to the bottom of this story. Russians are accused of intending to destabilize brotherly Belarus. It has been repeatedly said that Russian is not interfering in electoral processes of other states in any shape or form, even more so when it is about our allies. It is simply impossible," he noted.
"Therefore, everything should be carefully weighed in here to understand which way the wind blows, as they say, and [make sure] that it is not a provocation. We are expecting clarifications," he added.
Earlier, Belarus reported that 33 Russian citizens were detained in the early hours of July 29, Minsk described most of them as employees of a foreign private military company.
The Belarusian foreign ministry demanded explanations from Russian Ambassador Dmitry Mezentsev regarding the aims for their arrival in the country. The ministry also invited acting head of the Ukrainian embassy in Minsk Pyotr Vrublevsky "considering the confirmed information that some detainees were fighting in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. Following the meeting, the sides agreed to boost monitoring over the border section between the two states.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Moscow was yet to receive full information about the events, including any illegal actions that prompted the detentions. According to him, Moscow does not recognize Ukrainian citizenships of some of these people. Additionally, Peskov slammed claims of any links between these events and the upcoming presidential election in Belarus as speculations.