Russia did not send people to Belarus to destabilize the situation there ahead of the presidential election, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
“Belarus and Russia are the Union State. It is an ally, the closest partner. Therefore, this is surely out of the question,” Peskov told a daily briefing.
He confirmed that Moscow knew 33 Russian citizens were detained on Wednesday in Belarus and 200 others are still wanted.
“There is no information about any illegal actions of them that could become a reason for the detention,” he said, adding he looks forward to clarification of the incident.
On Wednesday night, 32 militants from the private Russian military contractor Wagner Group were detained near Minsk, with another found and detained in the south of the country, the Belarusian state news agency Belta reported.
“Information was received about the arrival of more than 200 militants in Belarusian territory to destabilize the situation during the election campaign,” Belta said, citing law enforcement agencies.
Presidential elections in Belarus will take place on Aug. 9.
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