Jul 31, 2020
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Detention of Russians in Belarus makes Lukashenko not handshake for the Kremlin – expert

By detaining Russian citizens near Minsk, Alexander Lukashenko crossed the red line, relations between the two countries will not be the same, political analyst Andrei Porotnikov believes. In his opinion, the president of the neighboring republic is becoming persona non grata for the Kremlin.

More than 30 Russians were detained in Belarus on July 29. Local media called them employees of the Wagner PMC, although no confirmation of this was provided. Later, the republic’s Security Council warned that more than 200 "militants" could be on the country's territory.

The story of the detention of Russians can radically change relations between Moscow and Minsk, believes Andrei Porotnikov. According to him, if employees of the Wagner PMC were really detained in Belarus, then Alexander Lukashenko decided to enter into direct confrontation with the Kremlin.

The expert recalled that this PMC is fulfilling the tasks set by the Russian leadership. Earlier, her fighters fought in Syria, where they helped government forces to liberate areas controlled by the militants.

After accusing PMC Wagner of preparing terrorist attacks in Belarus, Lukashenko made a claim to the Kremlin, Porotnikov said. Russia forgives a lot to the president of the neighboring republic, but cannot leave such statements unanswered, the expert is sure.

However, Vladimir Putin cannot get involved in an open conflict with Alexander Lukashenko: the Belarusian leader uses this in his election campaign and will try to rally voters around him, Porotnikov noted. The story is just beginning, he is sure.

“But even now Lukashenka is actually becoming“ not handled ”for the Russian leadership,” the Belarusian portal “Our Opinion” quotes the political scientist.

Earlier, the Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev said that the detained Russians followed in transit through Minsk to Istanbul. Security and related services were provided by a Belarusian company, an agreement was signed with it.

After the detention of the Russians, the Belarusian border guards have increased their security at the eastern borders. The authorities of the republic urged citizens to pay attention to "suspicious" persons.

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