By Kostas Onisenko
In a statement to the media, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, accused the “Americans” of trying to interfere in Belarus’ ecclesiastical affairs. He even claimed that the US was inciting a conflict between the Catholic Church of Belarus and the authorities.
The excerpt of his statement regarding the Church, published by the press office of the External Espionage Service, states the following:
“According to available information, the United States is unceremoniously interfering in the religious situation in Belarus, trying to bring the representatives of the Orthodox and the Catholic Church into conflict. In an effort to involve the Vatican (which has so far shown restraint) in the events in Belarus, the Americans are working to get more Catholic priests involved in anti-government protests. “Appeals are being made to the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church to openly criticize the Belarussian authorities and to use religious activities (…) to promote opposition propaganda among the faithful,” Naryshkin said.
“This, according to the American plan, should force Minsk to take tough countermeasures against the Roman Catholic Church. According to the available data, among the opponents of the current government, who have taken refuge abroad and have extremist mind sets, there is a plan of resonant provocation, according to which one of the authoritative priests of the Catholic Church would be arrested or killed. It is estimated that this will significantly raise the anti-government sentiments and will push them to a more active participation in the mobilizations in the streets”, the announcement concludes.