A group of militants detained in Belarus could have been used to destabilize the situation in the country before the presidential elections, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Kateryna Zelenko said.
“Ukraine has long warned that members of the Russian-led forces and illegal armed formations that participated in hostilities in eastern Ukraine are being used in other parts of the world and pose a threat. The identification of these militants in Belarus confirms this fact and indicates that they can be used for destabilization of the situation in Belarus before the presidential elections,” Zelenko said in the commentary, released on Thursday.
The ministry said that they are closely following the situation around the detention of several dozen Russian militants by Belarusian law enforcement officers.
“In this regard, we emphasize that Ukraine develops good-neighborly relations with neighboring Belarus, fully supports its sovereignty and independence. Questions about possible extradition or other legal actions will be resolved by the relevant law enforcement and applicable authorities,” the spokesperson said.
Law enforcement officers of Belarus detained 32 militants of the private military company (PMC) Wagner near Minsk on Wednesday night and one more person was detained in the south of the country.
Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Serhiy Kryvonis said in a comment to Channel 5 that Ukraine may demand the extradition of the natives of Ukraine detained in Belarus along with other militants of the Russian military company Wagner. According to him, he has already addressed this issue to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Probably, we consider such a proposal so that they could be extradited to us. This issue is being discussed how. It would be good. Firstly, it would strengthen normal relations between Ukraine and Belarus, would give an impetus to the improvement of relations and would be the desire of our enemies to use the territory of our neighbors as a springboard for actions against our country,” Kryvonis said.
© 2020 Interfax Ukraine