MINSK, 17 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on the information about the alleged detention of Russia's Anna Bogacheva as he met with Governor of Russia's Novgorod Oblast Andrei Nikitin in Minsk on 17 October, BelTA informs.
“It is important to keep in mind that in such cases we, in fact, act as if this is the territory of one state. Russia treats our citizens the same way we treat Russians in Belarus. There are no other options but to protect the interests of Russia and Russian citizens. And they are spinning the story about somebody's detention in Belarus and so on,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
“What else do you expect of us. We have a common system. A person comes to Belarus, checks in at a hotel, – Belarus is an IT country – and we immediately see that this person has been red-flagged, under someone's attention,” the president noted. “What do we do? We look into things. A person could be wanted for murder or something. When we realized that it was the alleged U.S. election tampering, we had no questions then,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
In his words, certain Russian mass media immediately started to hype up the situation. “Nezygar and other telegram channels. Such channels started spinning the story. Although, a serious opponent of ours wondered, which surprised me, what Belarusians were supposed to do in that case. They had to identify this person. There was no doubt that she would be released,” the president said.
“I have given you a fresh example of how it is done sometimes. Although we have different conspiracy theories here. Some people start saying that Russians could have done it on purpose, like a litmus test, to see how Belarus would treat Russia. If someone believes it, they are insane. We do not need that,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Commenting on the situation with the Russian citizen, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the event gave a start to “a kind of revolution”. They started to blame everybody, even the president of Belarus.
In this context, he recalled that over a decade ago the U.S. ambassador to Belarus and other diplomats were asked to leave the country for election interference. “Open interference. They participated in street protests and so on,” the head of state noted. “Tell me how I should act in respect of the interference in the U.S. election after that, even if there was any.”
“I have already become immune to it in a way. I know that it is almost unreal to interfere in the U.S. election. If you want an opinion on this, it makes sense to start with me. Take my open statements, public statements which I made at the time of the election in the United States. I openly supported Trump back then criticizing the democratic America and the way they were acting against Trump. This is my position,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that he often meets with Russian governors and that no conspiracy is involved in it. “I often say: if certain people in Russia think that this is their Russia, they are wrong. This is our Russia as well! People need to get used to it. Russia is more than just a country. Especially for Belarus. This is the ideology, and I cannot give up on it,” he said.
On 15 October several mass media outlets reported that Russian citizen Anna Bogacheva, who is on the U.S. sanctions list over alleged election tampering, was detained in a hotel in Minsk. Official representative for the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office Dmitry Brylev stated that the Office would apply to have the international warrant for Anna Bogacheva invalidated in the territory of Belarus.More about President