Russia insists it has ‘nothing to do’ with crisis over Belarus border

President Vladimir Putin’s chief foreign policy adviser on Friday insisted Russia had “nothing to do” with the crisis over the unmarked Belarus border with Poland that has raised tension in eastern Europe. “It is…

Russia insists it has ‘nothing to do’ with crisis over Belarus border

President Vladimir Putin’s chief foreign policy adviser on Friday insisted Russia had “nothing to do” with the crisis over the unmarked Belarus border with Poland that has raised tension in eastern Europe.

“It is common knowledge that Russia has nothing to do with what is happening in Belarus and Poland at the moment,” Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

“We are convinced that relations with Poland should be normalized,” he added.

“On this basis, we expect that the bilateral relations between Russia and Poland will not be marked by the incident,” he said.

Poland’s deputy prime minister vowed earlier this week that Warsaw would react “totally and resolutely” to an apparent expansion of the Belarusian border, saying Moscow had not granted a permit to build an unmanned observation station in the vicinity of the border.

In a move sure to raise tensions in Europe’s borders dispute, a woman living nearby alleged that armed men entered her garden and confiscated equipment to build an observation station. The report came during the row over an independent investigating team being asked to examine possible Polish complicity in the killing of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in London in March.

Russia has dismissed the inspection request as a political stunt intended to discredit Kremlin critic Vladimir Putin.

The president in May had visited the border between Belarus and Poland with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, and said at the time that Russia was opening a border post in the area. But he also called for mutual respect of sovereignty.

The US Embassy in Russia on Friday urged all sides to hold “reasonable and rational” discussions on the incident.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belarus also noted that it was unclear what Russian equipment had been confiscated. “We still do not know how they got into the territory of the Republic of Belarus, nor do we know if Russian objects have been confiscated,” the statement said.

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 13:35 IST

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