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Russian intelligence chief expects Minsk detention incident to be settled

The SVR chief also said that the Belarusian media’s comments on the incident were quite illogical

MOCSOW, August 1. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin expects that the incident regarding the detention of Russian nationals in Belarus will be settled, as he told reporters.

According to Naryshkin, the SVR is keeping an eye on the situation and the reaction of other countries’ political elites.

"I do expect that the incident will be settled after a while," he said, adding: "It is in the interest of boosting friendly and brotherly relations between our countries and peoples."

The SVR chief also said that the Belarusian media’s comments on the incident were quite illogical. "I must say that political elites and government circles in European countries view it as a staged stunt," Naryshkin pointed out.

Belarus announced the detention of 33 Russian nationals on the night of July 29, claiming that they were members of a private military company. According to recent information, they are suspected of preparations for staging riots. Russia’s Foreign Ministry, in turn, said that they were traveling to Istanbul via Minsk and had all the relevant documents, including airline tickets. However, the Belarusian Investigative Committee insists that the Russians had no plans to leave Minsk for Istanbul.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier that Moscow did not yet have full information regarding the detention of Russians in Belarus and expected the situation to be clarified. Peskov dismissed as speculation allegations about links between the Russians’ detention in Minsk and the upcoming Belarusian presidential election.