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Leonid Slutsky: “It is important to make sure that detentions in Belarus are not a provocation”

The situation with the detention of Russian citizens in Belarus requires a balanced approach; you should make sure that what happened is not a provocation. This opinion was expressed by Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, in an interview with a TASS correspondent on Thursday.

“We need to understand this whole story. The Russians are accused of intending to destabilize the situation in fraternal Belarus. It has been stated more than once that Russia does not in any way interfere in the electoral processes on the territory of foreign states, especially when it comes to our allies. impossible, “Slutsky said.

“Therefore, everything must be carefully weighed here, to understand, as they say, where the wind is blowing from and whether it is a provocation. We are waiting for clarifications,” the head of the committee added.

The Belarusian side reported on the detention of 33 Russian citizens on the night of July 29, who are called employees of a foreign private military company in Minsk. According to the latest reports, they are suspected of preparing riots.

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus has asked the Russian ambassador Dmitry Mezentsev to clarify the purpose of the Russians’ arrival in the republic. The ministry also invited Charge d’Affaires of Ukraine Pyotr Vrublevsky “taking into account the confirmed information about the participation of a number of detainees in hostilities on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.” Following the meeting, the parties agreed to strengthen control on the common border.

According to Mezentsev, the citizens of Russia detained in Belarus on July 25 intended to fly from Minsk to Istanbul, and “much later they planned to return to the Russian capital from another state also by plane,” bypassing the territory of Belarus. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow does not yet have complete information about what happened, including about any illegal actions that caused the arrest. According to him, Moscow does not recognize the Ukrainian citizenship of some of the detainees. Peskov called the statements about the connection of the incident with the upcoming presidential elections in Belarus speculations.

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