The detention of a group of Russians in Minsk and charged them of trying to destabilize the country ahead of presidential elections could seriously affect the relations of Belarus and Moscow. What’s going on, understood the Croatian edition of Advance, the translation of the article which made the “new York times”.

As reported by “the Rambler”, informed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the country can make a “Maidan” with the help of foreign private military campaign. A few days after the authorities announced the arrest of 32 of Russians in sanatoriums near Minsk. According to the Belarusian law enforcement officers, they arrived in the country to destabilize the situation before the presidential elections scheduled for 9 August.

According to the author of the article in the Croatian publication, the detention “may be the most serious challenge to the less idyllic relations between Moscow and Minsk.”

He recalled that the election campaign in Belarus is already marked by a number of scandals, including the arrest and charge of the permanent main competitors of the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. At the same time, one of them is businessman Valery Tsepkalo – fled with the children to Russia.

Now Lukashenka is opposed by three women: candidate Svetlana Tikhanovski, wife of the arrested popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovski, the wife fled to Russia businessman Veronika Tsepkalo and Maria Kolesnikova, wife of the arrested former banker Victor Babariko, which was called one of the main contenders for the presidency of Belarus, the newspaper reminds.

The reason for “panic Lukashenko” and attempts to eliminate all potential rivals, despite the fact that experts are predicting a victory in the first round, could be “paranoid, and possibly fear of what he might lose, or that he for the first time in 30 years there was some kind of competition,” the article reads.

According to the newspaper, officials in Russia stressed that “Belarus has been and remains one of our closest allies” and plans to destabilize the situation in principle was not considered. Thus arrested in Minsk Russians in Belarus named members of the “group of Wagner”, which is associated with one of the Russian oligarchs.

The author notes that, despite the fact that “in the Kremlin assert that have no relation to the mercenaries Wagner, few people believe these words.”

“What happened in Belarus, we probably have yet to learn. I might not understand even Lukashenko himself, but he wants to know and Trwill abouet from Moscow immediate explanation of what is happening. However, it does not satisfy the words that “we are close allies and you have nothing to fear,” – said Croatian journalist.