Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Ukraine of trying to interfere in the situation in Belarus. He stated this at a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart in Moscow.
Sergei Lavrov is convinced that there are people interested in turning peaceful protests in Belarus into confrontational actions.
“There is evidence of such activities being carried out from the territory of Ukraine,” he said. Besides, Lavrov stressed that the structures operating there provoke radical actions in Minsk and other Belarusian cities, as well as financing related activities.
In Ukraine, Lavrov continued, extremists are being trained, in particular in the Volyn region.
“According to our estimates, there are about two hundred extremists trained in the Volyn territory now present in the Republic of Belarus,” Lavrov added.
Kyiv described the allegations as nonsense and sick fantasy. “Ukraine has not conducted, is not conducting and will not conduct any subversive activities against Belarus,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Facebook.
Last week Kyiv had put official contacts with Belarus on hold, and joined the European Union in condemning the election as neither free nor fair. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy were among the leaders who called for a new presidential election.
Russian and Ukrainian militants
Recall that on 29 July, Belarusian authorities detained 33 mercenaries from the Wagner group. Later they reported that a total of 180-200 mercenaries were planned to be sent to Belarus “to destabilise the country ahead of presidential election in August”.
After the elections, Minsk handed over the detainees to Moscow. Russia called the detention a provocation by the Ukrainian and American intelligence services. Since then Alexander Lukashenko started to bring Ukraine up more and more often.
“Don’t rush out into the streets now! Don’t you understand you and your children are being used as cannon fodder! They’ve come here from Poland, Holland, Ukraine, with Open Russia, Navalny and so on. Aggression against us has begun. Tell me, how should a military man act? What should I do in this situation?
Do you want me to sit and wait while Minsk is turned upside down? This way we will not stabilize the situation later. Therefore, you need to stop, take your head in your hands and calm down. And let us put things in order, deal with those who came here,” Lukashenko said on 14 August.
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Two days later he said: “Someone wants new elections. Look out the window! Tanks and planes ready for take-off are 15 minutes from our border. And not in vain. NATO troops crunch their caterpillars at our gates. There’s a build-up of troops on the western borders of our country. Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and, unfortunately, our dear Ukraine and its authorities are ordering new election to be held.”