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07 August 2020, 12:20

Lukashenko on detained militants: We knew who they worked for

MINSK, 7 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has unveiled details of the arrest of militants from a foreign private military company in an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, BelTA has learned.

“Look, we are going through a critical period. You know that it all was taking place in the build-up to everything [the ongoing presidential election]. We received information. We detained one of them in Mozyr and arrested others too [near Minsk]. We had seen who they had been affiliated with, we had been closely monitoring them, we had known whom they had called, who in Russia had given them orders. We realized that they were up to something. Taking into consideration the context of international relations, we were fully aware that they could spell trouble for us,” the head of state said.

The journalist asked whether it is possible that the election could be followed by civil unrest, bloodshed and chaos, including with interference of a third party. “I cannot imagine shooting in our streets,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In his words, Belarus is trying not to allow destabilization of the situation, and the arrest of the group of three dozen militants is a case in point. There were reports that another group could infiltrate into the territory of the country. “Ukraine's intelligence warned us that another group entered the country through the southern border. We are now looking for them all over Belarus. To be honest, I do not really believe that 30 people crossed the border there, because in this case we would have found them unless they left for Russia or went back to Ukraine. We would have identified them in our territory a long ago,” the Belarusian leader said.

“We have long been on the alert and act correspondingly. Therefore, I do not believe that someone will shoot at protesters or at the other side in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, Russia is afraid of losing Belarus. “No wonder. God forbid. Ukraine is no longer with them. It might also happen to Belarus. I told Putin about it. I would also be anxious about it if I were Russian decision-makers. God forbid Belarus, a thousand-kilometer big gateway will close for them,” the head of state said.

Talking about the arrival of the militants from the foreign private military company, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it was unacceptable: “It is not just insulting. It is intolerable and deplorable, in particular when it comes from your dear friends.”

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