Moscow views embassy incident as attempt to mount tensions

MOSCOW, August 31 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow said on Tuesday it views the incident on premises of the Russian Embassy in Minsk as an attempt by certain forces to introduce "elements of mistrust and tensions in bilateral relations."

"In the evening of August 30, unidentified persons threw two petrol bombs onto the premises of the Russian Embassy in Belarus. Luckily, none of the Embassy personnel was hurt," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We regard this incident as an outrageous act, behind which we seen the wish of certain forces to try to interfere with the normal work of the Embassy and introduce elements of mistrust and tension in bilateral relations.

"Russia insists on conducting a quick and thorough probe into all the circumstances of the incident, and finding and punishing the masterminds and the perpetrators of the crime. We assume that the Belarussian law-enforcement bodies will take all the necessary measures to prevent similar actions in the future," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Belarussian Foreign Ministry expressed indignation over the Russian Embassy incident.

"We heard the news about the incident at the Embassy of the Russian Federation with concern and indignation," Belarussian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said in a statement.

"This criminal and hooligan excess is aimed against common sense and Belarussian-Russian relations," the statement said.

Minsk said it was hoping the "culprits will suffer severe punishment in accordance with the law."

Minsk police spokesman Alexander Lastovsky said law-enforcement bodies were looking for the wrongdoers.

"The authorities are deciding on open inga criminal case under Article 339 ("hooliganism") of the Belarussian Criminal Code," Lastovsky said.


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