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Lukashenko invites Russian, Ukrainian prosecutors to deal with Russians’ affair

There is no need to threaten Minsk with consequences that the detained Russians’ case might entail, the Belarusian president stated
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MINSK, August 6. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has handed down instructions to invite the Russian and Ukrainian prosecutor generals to sort out the case of Russian nationals detained in Belarus, the BelTA news agency reported.

The prosecutor generals of the three countries need to "sit down together" and "make a decision on these guys based on our legislation and international laws," the Belarusian leader said at a meeting on ensuring security during the presidential election campaign. 

Lukashenko suggested that the three prosecutor generals should study international agreements and agreements with Russia and Ukraine. "There are also multilateral ones and our laws," he added. "The Investigative Committee’s chairman and the State Security Committee will present the latest information from investigators," the Belarusian president noted.

Lukashenko added that the Russians’ detention had been discussed in his telephone call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on August 5. "The media have reported about it. My position is unequivocal: there are Belarusian laws, and they committed offences on Belarusian territory. We know everything that our investigative committee has found out," he said.

There is no need to threaten Minsk with consequences that the detained Russians’ case might entail, Belarusian President Alexander Lukahsenko stressed.

"We will solve this problem. No need to politicize it. We don’t need any political or economic drama. There is also no need to threaten us with consequences or make us fear the Americans and NATO. It was neither NATO nor the Americans that sent 33 men here, for that matter," Lukashenko stated. According to him, the Belarusian authorities will be guided by law when dealing with the case. "We will act based on laws and, which is important, humanity. Laws don’t cover everything, so we need to take the human aspect into account as well," the BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.

Preventing a 'maidan'

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that he won’t allow to "light a bonfire" in downtown Minsk on August 9, the primary day of the presidential election.

"It is clear that the election has started, the early voting is underway but it won’t be superfluous, considering the experience to date, to evaluate the current situation yet again, and, if necessary, work out additional measures to ensure security for the near future," he said on Thursday.

According to him, the authorities won’t tolerate a "maidan" in downtown Minsk. "Some are still calling people to come to "maidan" on August 9-10. God forbid we light a bonfire in downtown Minsk and toss charred wood all over Minsk. We cannot allow this and we won’t," the Belarusian state news agency BelTA quoted his words.

The president also stressed that "everybody who were insulting and intimidating the government employees, the military, members of the election commissions, workers of the vertical of power, should be held accountable in accordance with the Belarusian legislation and constitution." According to him, the government "has enough resources to defend the state workers who today are working for the country practically for free, without compensation."

Russians’ detention

Belarus announced the detention of 33 Russian nationals on the night of July 29. The Russians are accused of plotting a terrorist attack. Lukashenko said in his state of the nation address on Tuesday that the Russians had been sent to Belarus with a purpose. According to media reports, Belarus has handed the list of the detained Russians over to Kiev. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Ukrainian passport holders could be on the list and Kiev would consider them to be Ukrainian nationals.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, noted that Moscow did not recognize the Ukrainian citizenship of some of the detained people. He pointed out that the Russian citizens had planned to travel to another country via Belarus. According to the Kremlin spokesman, they are employees of a private security company and their stay in Minsk had nothing to do with Belarusian domestic affairs.

Election in Belarus

The presidential election in Belarus will take place on August 9 with the early voting having started on August 4. There are five presidential candidates in the running, including the incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko. The electoral campaign is accompanied by detentions of oppositional politicians and activists as well as by unauthorized protest rallies. The European Union and the US expressed concern in connection with these incidents and urged the Belarusian authorities to conduct a free election.