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Russian embassy in Belarus cleared to visit detained Russians

Russian diplomats are expected to speak to the apprehended as soon as today, according to official data
The Russian embassy in Belarus Viktor Drachev/TASS
The Russian embassy in Belarus
© Viktor Drachev/TASS

MINSK, July 31. /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Belarus has received an official permission from the Belarusian authorities to visit the Russians detained recently.

"The Russian embassy was informed by the Main Consular Department of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry about the reception of official documents from the Belarusian Investigative Committee, which say that the head of the [Russian] embassy’s consular department is allowed to visit the detained Russian citizens," the diplomatic mission told TASS.

Russian diplomats are expected to speak to the apprehended as soon as today.

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 the apprehended Russians' 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 "theories."