Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held telephone talks. The conversation took place at the initiative of Moscow.
The parties discussed the detention of 33 Russians by the Belarusian special services near Minsk. Belarus considers the detainees to be fighters of “Wagner’s private military company” who arrived in the country to destabilize the situation before the presidential elections. Russia insists that the Russians were in transit through Minsk to other countries.
Putin and Lukashenko assured each other that the situation would be resolved within the framework of mutual understanding between the two countries. The presidents agreed to establish the true reasons for the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
During the conversation, Putin also said that Moscow is interested in maintaining a stable internal political situation and a calm atmosphere during the presidential elections in Belarus.
- Belarusian special services detained a group of 33 Russians at the end of July. Some of them have Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine suspects some of the detainees of participation on the side of the separatists in the hostilities in Donbass and demands their extradition to Kiev. The President of Belarus announced his readiness to extradite some of the detainees. In addition, Lukashenko instructed to invite the general prosecutors of Russia and Ukraine to Belarus to investigate the situation.
- PMC Wagner is a Russian paramilitary organization believed to be backed by businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.