Zelensky on Wagner fighters’ handover to Russia: Decision is unfair, unacceptable for friendly intergovernmental relations
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has described the decision of Belarus to hand members of the Wagner Group over to Russia as unfair and non-complying with friendly intergovernmental relations.
“We think that such a decision is, mildly speaking, unfair and non-complying with the spirit of relations between Ukraine and Belarus based on the principles of respect and mutual support,” Zelensky said on his Facebook page on Saturday.
The head of state also said that the decision on the extradition of “modern war demons – the Wagner Group fighters” to Russia is “a strange, incorrect and obviously unacceptable for friendly intergovernmental relations” step.
Zelensky also denied any allegations about Ukraine’s intrusion in the domestic processes in Belarus.
“First of all, saying in public about any intrusion by Ukraine into domestic processes in Belarus. This definitely never happened. Secondly, handing people who really have relation to obvious intrusion into affairs of Belarus as well as Ukraine – first of all, of Ukraine – over to the third party. A bad story. The story in which trust, fairness and adequate assessment of negative consequences were neglected,” Zelensky said.
He also said that the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (PGO) did not receive any answer from Belarus to its request for the extradition of 28 Wagner Group members, including nine Ukrainian citizens, to Ukraine as all of them were notified of suspicion of being involved in a terrorist organization.
“We also made active attempts through the diplomatic and personal channels to prove our partners why it would be right and correct to follow exactly the suggested way. But, regrettably, this did not happen,” the head of state said.
Zelensky also noted that the consequences of the Wagner fighters’ handover to Russia will be tragic.
“We realize that the Wagner Group members will still get back to their usual activities – the spread of war. I hope to God that the Belarusian government will not get another burning, bloodless Donbas in their territory, which all these Wagner fighters can create skillfully create. Because they are all about expansion and violence. Only violence,” he said.