Ales Mikhalevich: Russians did not buy us
An open letter posted on the website of Nasha Niva newspaper was written together with Volha Karach, head of Our House organization, and Pavel Marosau, coordinator of the Third Way movement. The trio has urged to release Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner and other political prisoners from Belarus jails.
The appeal by Mikhalevich, Karach and Marozau' has grabbed media and public attention, with some people accusing them of taking a bribe from the Russians. The authors of the letter are rumored to have alledgely received $1 million from Russian oligarchs. Mr. Mikhalevich has refuted it in a commentary to Euroradio.
Ales Mihalevich: "I do not know how to comment on this. Human rights are human rights. We cannot change our attitude to human rights, no matter who is repressed."
All the three signatories came up with the idea of supporting the arrested Uralkali head simultaneously, so it's impossible to say who was the initator, he added.
Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner was detained in Minsk after meeting Belarusian Prime Minister Mihail Myasnikovich on Monday, August 26. The Uralkali head caused damage to Belarus' national interests, the Investigatory Committee of Belarus said. He has been charged with power abuse and is facing up to 10 years in prison and confiscation of property. The losses suffered by the Belarusian Potash Company reached $100 million, the Investigatiory Committee said. Baumgertner is being held in a KGB.