Arrest of 2 RF citizens in Belarus unacceptable - Lavrov

MOSCOW, February 3 (Itar-Tass) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov considers unacceptable the fact that two Russian citizens are under arrest in Belarus.

"Two Russian citizens are currently under arrest in Belarus: it is unacceptable," Lavrov told Russia Today on Thursday.

"The accusations look unserious. Now we are trying to make our Belarusian colleagues clarify the situation. The Council of Europe Ministerial Council discussed this issue two weeks ago and unanimously adopted the resolution demanding the Belarusian authorities free arrested opposition presidential candidates, human rights activists and journalists, and respect European values and principles," the minister said.

"Belarus is our brotherly country and our strategic partner within the Customs Union, the common economic space and the CSTO. But this does not mean that we should close the eyes to the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms." "Such position proves that Russia is not going to be guided by double standards. The same is related to the protection and respect of human rights in the Russian Federation. Russia is a member of the global community, which involves the U.N., the OSCE, and the Council of Europe etc. There are certain norms that we are committed to. There are obligations that we assumed and we want these obligations to be fulfilled," he said.

Russian citizens Breus and Gaponov were detained in Minsk on December 19, 2010 during the crackdown in Belarus.


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