The Russians detained in the Belarusian capital Minsk earlier this week were transiting from Russia to Turkey.
That is what the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
A group of 32 Russian mercenaries were arrested in Minsk. According to Belarus, the group planned to carry out terrorist attacks. It is said to be members of PMC Wagner, a Russian paramilitary organization.
“The Russians would fly to another country.
Their stay has nothing to do with Belarus or the internal affairs there,” said the spokesman. The mercenaries are said to have had airline tickets to Istanbul. “Belarus is our ally.”
Presidential elections will be held in Belarus next week. Local authorities say that the mercenaries had connections to the opposition in the country and planned to create instability prior to the ballot box.
President Aleksandr Lukashenko hopes to be elected president for the sixth time.