MINSK, April 7. /TASS/. Belarus has held a special operation to secure the return home of Belarusian truck drivers and their vehicles stranded in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting of the country’s Security Council on Thursday, the BelTA news agency reports.
"I had warned the Ukrainians that we would have to carry out a special operation to secure the release of these people. And we did conduct such an operation. All our people are now free," Lukashenko said.
"Those rascals began to seize our men, truck drivers in the first place, stranded there. They arrested some 1,500 vans, they seized our trucks and about a hundred our guys, the drivers," he stated.
The Belarusian leader said he had warned the Ukrainian side the Belarusian authorities would have to conduct "a special operation to set these people free." Lukashenko did not disclose any details, but at the same time instructed the chief of the state security committee KGB Ivan Tertel to nominate those involved in that operation for government awards.
"The operation was performed brilliantly. You didn’t even notice anything. If one, two, three, four or five people still remain somewhere, harsh conditions must be put forward. May Foreign Minister Vlaimir Makei tell the Ukrainian ambassador, that if that fails to be done, we will respond in a different way," Lukashenko said. He warned that the Ukrainian side was taking great risks.
"There are quite a quite a few Ukrainians here, including the ambassador. We treat them in accordance with the law, in a humane way, but this is a very different situation. To put it in a nutshell: they misbehaved and we had to react," Lukashenko said.