The United States denies any involvement in the attempted coup in Belarus and the impending assassination attempt on Alexander Lukashenko, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday, TASS reports.
“I can confirm there’s no basis in fact there,” Psaki said when asked to comment on the allegation of the US involvement in the attempted coup d’etat in Belarus and the assassination attempt on Lukashenko.
The Russian military intelligence agency FSB said late last week that it arrested two men, including lawyer Yuri Zenkovich with a dual citizenship in the U.S. and Belarus, who allegedly planned a coup in Belarus and to assassinate Lukashenko
Earlier, the U.S. State Department said that the allegation that the American government is behind the coup plot is absolutely false. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday denounced the fact that Western officials had not addressed the alleged plot against Lukashenko.
“It is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seems to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening. Staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials — well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits,” he said during his annual state-of-the-nation address.
The United States has always wanted stability in relations with Belarus, but the actions of the country’s authorities against the opposition do not allow a return to normal business, the U.S. Department of State Spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday, Interfax.by reports.
“The United States has always sought stable and predictable relations with Belarus since its independence in 1991,” Ned Price said at the briefing. “But as long as what we have witnessed, human rights violations, repressions continue in Belarus, it is impossible to carry on business as before,” he continued.
At the same time, a representative of the U.S. Department of State said that the United States wants to normalize diplomatic relations with Belarus and the arrival of the American ambassador to Minsk would be extremely important to achieve this goal. He also mentioned the decision of the United States to renew sanctions against a number of Belarusian enterprises.
On Saturday, 17 April, Alexander Lukashenko said that political analyst Alexander Feduta and lawyer Yury Zenkovich were involved in plotting the assassination attempt on him and his sons. “Then we found out about the involvement of foreign intelligence services. Most likely, the CIA, the FBI, I do not know which of the Americans exactly. We learned about their plans to come to Minsk and to organize an assassination against the president and his children,” said Lukashenko.
Later that day, the state-run ONT TV channel aired a report with a commentary by the KGB Chairperson Ivan Tertel that the special services “managed to prevent attempts of an armed coup in Belarus and elimination of government officials”. The official said that Alexander Feduta, Yuri Zenkovich and Grigory Kostusev were members of the criminal group. The ONT reported that “the conspirators plotted the coup for the summer of this year, June or July”.
The Federal Security Service (FSS) of Russia confirmed the information of the KGB of Belarus and stated that it had participated in the operation to detain Feduta and Zenkovich in Moscow. According to the agency, they arrived in the city after consultations in the U.S. and Poland to meet with “opposition-minded generals of the Belarusian Armed Forces.” At the same time, according to the FSS, seizing power by force in Belarus was planned for 9 May.
“Any suggestion that the U.S. government was behind this or was involved in the attempted assassination of Lukashenko is completely false,” said the U.S. State Department representative.