17 May 2019 15:40

Russian consul meets with Russians arrested in Minsk for bribing Belarusian officials

MINSK. May 17 (Interfax) - The Russian consul has met with three Russian citizens in custody in Minsk as part of two criminal cases of bribing Belarusian officials, Alexei Maskalyov, spokesperson for the Russian Embassy to Belarus, told Interfax.

"On May 15, the Russian consul met with three Russian citizens, who have been detained by the Belarusian KGB [State Security Committee] and are in custody over bribery charges. The consulate is taking all necessary procedural measures to protect the interests of the citizens of the Russian Federation," Maskalyov said.

The Belarusian side provided an opportunity for a meeting between the consul and the detained Russians following the embassy's request, he said.

The embassy has been making "necessary efforts since the first day the news about the Russian citizens' detention emerged," Maskalyov said.

As reported, on May 4, the Belarusian KGB announced two high-profile detentions of high-ranking officials after accepting bribes from Russians.

Andrei Vtyurin, former deputy state secretary of the Belarusian Security Council and head of the presidential security service in 2007-2014, was caught red-handed while taking a $148,600 bribe from the Russian company 'G' for lobbying its interests in the country.

Beltelecom Director-General Sergei Sivodedov was detained for accepting a bribe of 15,000 euros from a Russian citizen for facilitation of supplies of telecommunication equipment. According to the KGB's official statements, a Russian citizen had been detained in each case.

The Russian Embassy in Minsk received the Belarusian Foreign Ministry's notification that the Belarusian KGB had detained three Russians. The Russian citizens were detained on suspicion of bribery.

On Friday, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had not discussed the detention of three Russians in Minsk on suspicion of bribery. He redirected this question to the Russian Foreign Ministry.