After a massive public outcry and diplomatic note. the Belarusian State Border Committee admitted the fact of border crossing by Ukrainian citizen Pavel Gryb on August 24. The young man went missing in the Belarusian city of Homiel. According to unofficial information, at the moment the 19-year-old resident of Ukraine is kept in the department of Russia’s FSB in Krasnodar.
“We got everyone and everything involved – all public services, ministries, civil society organizations, human rights activists in Belarus and Ukraine. Our consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don is check information about his whereabouts in Krasnodar,” says Igor Gryb, the father of the missing.
As it emerged later, Russia blacklisted him as a ‘terrorist’. In Homiel he met with the 17-year-old girl from Sochi who later confessed that the FSB exerted pressure on her. After the disappearance of the young man, Ukrainian politicians question the security of its own nationals in the territory of Belarus.
According to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Alena Zerkal, in words Belarus behaves as a partner, but in deeds it acts quite differently.
The incident may have long-term consequences. For example, Ukraine might affect Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization, Zerkal said.
Belarusian law enforcement agencies are doing their best to find Pavel; all information collected by them will be delivered to Ukraine, Spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Dzmitry Mironchyk promised. But will it improve the image of the country?
According to official data provided by Russia’s Prosecutor General, Belarus has the lead among the foreign countries that extradites people who are on Moscow’s wanted list.