MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Some 200 extremists, trained in Ukraine, are currently on Belarusian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei.
"There are confirmed reports that such activity is conducted from Ukrainian territory. The ‘Stepan Bandera’s Trident,’ the ‘National Corps’, the ‘Right Sector’ [far-right radical groups, outlawed in Russia] are all there. All these structures actively engage in provoking radical actions in Minsk and other cities of Belarus, funding relevant events and encouraging those they consider promising extremist leaders to bring elements of violence to the rallies in the Belarusian capital," the top diplomat noted.
"There are training camps for such extremists in Ukraine; according to our information, [they are located] in Volyn and Dnepropetrovsk regions. I am certain - we have discussed this today - that our intelligence services must work on this more substantially; they stay in contact with each other. According to our estimations, about 200 extremists, trained on Ukrainian territory, are currently in the Republic of Belarus," Lavrov said.
The Russian Foreign Minister noted that, according to reports of a number of Russian media, protests in Belarus are attended by "peaceful people who just want to be heard."
At the same time, Lavrov underscored that Russia sees and knows "for sure those things that do not end up in the newspapers, and about those people," whom the Russian and other reporters have no access to, but "who are highly interested that the peaceful protests spiral into a confrontation."
In this regard, the top diplomat once again underscored Moscow’s position that "no one should prevent Belarusians from agreeing with each other on their own."
The presidential election in Belarus took place on August 9. According to the Central Electoral Commission, the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko won with 80.10% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. Tikhanovskaya refused to recognize the results and shortly thereafter left Belarus for the neighboring Lithuania, where she currently remains. Immediately after the outcome was announced, mass protests flared up across Belarus, ending up in clashes with the law enforcement. Over 6,000 people were apprehended. The protests continue.