Russian top deputy Lavrov urges to stop demonizing the authorities of Belarus

Russia calls for an end to demonizing the authorities of Belarus, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, commenting on the statements of the head of the Kiev delegation in the contact group Leonid Kravchuk about the need to transfer negotiations on the Donbass from Minsk to another country.

Russian top deputy Lavrov urges to stop demonizing the authorities of Belarus

Earlier, Kravchuk said that Minsk can no longer be a platform for negotiations, it is necessary to look for another platform. He explained this by the termination of air communication with Belarus, as well as by the “dictatorial behavior” of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.

“As for the issue of the further work of the contact group and the refusal, as Mr. Kravchuk said, to continue its activities in Minsk because of the events around Belarus, which are now occupied by everyone, I want to confirm what Moscow has officially stated more than once: we insist on to stop demonizing those people who do not like the West”, – Lavrov said at a press conference with Gabon’s Foreign Minister Pak Mubele Bubeya.

“The Belarusian authorities clearly said from the very first minutes after this incident about their readiness for transparency, for an open investigation, for receiving relevant experts, for providing all the information and necessary materials. They have already unilaterally disseminated some of this information. But our Western colleagues, especially the Baltic countries, behave, by diplomatic standards, simply indecent. Yes, probably, and by human standards too, “Lavrov added.

The West, especially the Baltic countries, are behaving indecently, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, commenting on the situation with the Ryanair plane.

“Our Western colleagues, especially the Baltic countries, behave indecently by diplomatic standards, and probably by human standards too. But demanding an investigation, they have already announced the so-called “punishment.” These are manners that, unfortunately, are now shown by many of our Western colleagues and not only in this regard”, – the minister said at a press conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Gabon.

The Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius on May 23 urgently landed at the Minsk airport due to a message about mining. Belarusian human rights activists reported that this plane was flown by Roman Protasevich, the founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, recognized as extremist in Belarus. While checking documents at the Minsk airport, Protasevich was detained. A criminal case was initiated against him under several articles, including the article “organizing mass riots.” He could face up to 15 years in prison.

Russian citizen Sofia Sapega was detained together with Protasevich. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, she is suspected of committing crimes in August-September 2020 under several articles of the Criminal Code of Belarus. Sapieha’s detention has been extended by two months, and charges must be brought against her within ten days. On Tuesday, the state TV channel STV showed a video in which Sapega admitted that she is the editor of the Telegram channel “Black Book of Belarus”, which publishes the personal data of the security forces. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, this channel and its “daughters” in the regions are recognized as extremist in Belarus.

A number of Western countries, including the EU, criticized the incident, demanding the release of Protasevich and Sapega.

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