We hope that this situation will be resolved soon, said the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, after a meeting in Moscow with his Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makei. It concerns the case of Sofia Sapiga, a Russian citizen who was arrested in Minsk. She was arrested along with her Belarusian opposition partner, Raman Pratasevic. They were both on the plane that was to land in the capital of Belarus.
Sofia Sabiga was arrested on May 23 along with Belarusian opposition activist Raman Pratasevic. He is being held in the KGB detention center in Minsk. So far, no official charges have been brought against her.
Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the Russian embassy in Minsk was “under special control” in the case of Sabiga and the second detained Russian citizen, Igor Dudnikov. The head of the foreign ministry said that the Russian consuls had no problems accessing both detainees. He stated that the costs of lawyers are covered by the Russian Foundation for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Citizens Abroad. – We hope that this situation will be resolved soon – the minister added.
The day after the appeal to Lukashenka
These words came the next day to the Russian father, Andrei Sapiega posted a video appeal to the leader of Belarus, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, asking him to pardon his daughter.
A man living in Vladivostok appealed to Lukashenko: “Alexander Grigorievich, like my father’s father, I ask for a personal meeting and I am ready to give all necessary guarantees that my daughter will not engage in illegal activities.” He stated that Sophia was “in the wrong place and with the wrong person”. And Andrei Sabiga added: “Before meeting Raman Bratasevic, she was an ordinary girl. She was in Lithuania during the protests in Minsk, and if she did something during that period, it is definitely a story about love, not about beliefs.”
And the PrimaMedia agency in Vladivostok broadcast the video containing the appeal, where – according to media reports – the President of Belarus is scheduled to come in a few weeks.
Stopping after an emergency landing
23-year-old Sabiga was arrested along with Belarusian opposition blogger Raman Pratasevic after Emergency landing of Ryanair plane in Minsk. Bratacevic and Sabiega, a private couple, were among the passengers on the plane. Belarusian authorities have filed criminal cases against Sabega for inciting social hatred and organizing riots.
In a recent interview with the Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, Minister Mackie said that Sabiga’s trial will likely take place in Belarus.
20-year-old Igor Dudnikov was arrested in Belarus on May 5. The Russian lived in this country for about a year. Belarusian human rights activists reported his arrest. Dudnikov is accused of organizing acts that violate public order and faces up to three years in prison.
Main image source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / PAP / EPA