The detention on the territory of Belarus of 33 Russians, who were called “militants” of Wagner’s private military company (PMC) in Minsk, will not affect relations between the countries. This was announced to RBC by Dmitry Novikov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
“A private military company is a private military company, their activities cannot be associated with the activities of the state,” he said.
According to Novikov, private military companies, within the framework of the law and international law, can work in the interests of individual state or private structures. According to him, in each specific case it is necessary to understand what is the nature of the PMC’s activities, who is the customer and whether this violates the country’s legislation and international legal norms, the deputy added.
Novikov concluded that bilateral relations are based on fundamental things such as common history and culture, common economic and geopolitical interests. In his opinion, friction between the countries does not prevent one from understanding that Russia and Belarus are the Union State.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Alexei Chepa, in a conversation with RBC, called the information received about the detention of Russians in Belarus strange and noted the need to check it carefully.
“Let’s say private companies are used for security, but what to protect, how to protect [in Belarus]? I do not understand. Belarus is our brothers and friends, and I don’t see any sense in that, ”he said.
In Belarus, on July 29, 11 days before the presidential elections, 33 Russians were detained. The state agency BelTA reported that they work for Wagner PMC. The names of some of the detainees coincide with the names of those who were blacklisted by the Ukrainian portal “Peacemaker” in 2017 as Russian mercenaries.
After this incident, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko called an urgent meeting with members of the Security Council.
Earlier, on July 24, the Belarusian leader warned that foreign private military companies could appear in the country. During the election campaign, he also mentioned several times about Russia’s interest in winning the elections for opposition candidates.