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Kremlin expects situation surrounding Belarusian activist Kolesnikova to be cleared up

It is impossible to approve kidnapping but it should not be mixed with a legal detention, the Kremlin spokesman said

MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. The Kremlin does not have detailed information about what happened to member of the Belarusian opposition’s Coordination Council Maria Kolesnikova and expects the situation to be cleared up, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

When commenting on reports about her alleged kidnapping, he said that "it is impossible to approve kidnapping but it should not be mixed with a legal detention. We don’t have detailed information on what happened to her [Kolesnikova] because conflicting reports are coming in," Peskov noted.

While speaking about calls by Western countries and international organizations for the release of political prisoners in Belarus, the Kremlin spokesman emphasized the need to consider each case separately. "On the whole, we aren’t ready to recognize that there are political prisoners in Belarus," he added, commenting on the situation surrounding Kolesnikova, who had been detained when trying to illegally cross the Belarus-Ukraine border.

Peskov also said that contacts between Moscow and Belarusian opposition activists were out of the question. "They haven’t contacted Moscow. The [Belarusian] Constitutional Court has ruled that this self-proclaimed body [the Coordination Council - TASS] is unconstitutional. This is why contacts are out of the question," the Russian presidential spokesman said. According to him, Russia is guided by "Belarusian President Lukashenko’s statement that dialogue with the public will be launched in the near future in order to discuss constitutional reform." "It will be a dialogue with those who remain within the legal framework," Peskov concluded.