MINSK, 29 July (BelTA) – State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Andrei Ravkov told reporters about the measures to be taken in response to the detention of members of the Vagner foreign private military company near Minsk. The statements were made after an urgent session of the Security Council hosted by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko ended on 29 July, BelTA has learned.
Andrei Ravkov said that participants of the session had discussed a number of matters concerning national security. “First of all, because of today's change of the situation. As many as 32 people – Russian citizens, who belong to Vagner's private military company –were apprehended in a sanatorium near Minsk on the Belarusian territory in the morning. They are being questioned now. Another person was apprehended in Gomel Oblast,” the state secretary of the Security Council noted.
Andrei Ravkov described the situation as a very unpleasant fact the Russian Federation had not confirmed. “Because if personnel of a private military company were to be redeployed somewhere, and via Belarus at that, it is likely that some security agencies would have provided certain explanations. Because it is a very serious matter. But in this case neither the FSB nor GRU nor some other agency has provided any information,” the official said.
During the Security Council session the head of state set a number of tasks for components of the national security system. Some of the tasks focus on the work of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular, the organization of queries and the invitation of ambassadors of the Russian Federation and Ukraine for explanations and discussions. “According to the information available now after questioning these people, about 14 of them are people on the watch list, they have been to Donbass. This is why the Ukrainian ambassador will be invited to discuss it,” the state secretary of the Security Council said.
Apart from that, the State Border Committee of Belarus will beef up border security. “Including the Belarusian-Russian border as part of the efforts to track the situation and the people that cross the state border, including the green border. These assets will be considerably beefed up,” Andrei Ravkov noted.
The president also drew attention to the security of public events, including those relating to the election campaign. “Stronger control of access to venues of public events, stronger security, checks of people. Because as far as the organizational structure of the people that have been apprehended is concerned, we can clearly see snipers, demolition experts, IT specialists. A number of measures of organizational nature will be taken bearing it in mind to ensure security,” Andrei Ravkov noted.
“All the future information that will become available will be conveyed to the general public in a timely manner,” he concluded.