Amid rising rumors, White House press secretary Jen Psaki just denied the U.S. government was involved in an assassination attempt against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
“I can confirm there’s no basis in fact there,” Psaki said when asked about the allegation.
Fox News had reported Russian military intelligence agency FSB arrested two men last week, including one with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Belarus, who planned a military coup and assassination plot in Belarus against Lukashenko.
Yuras Zyankovich, a Belarusian-born lawyer who also holds U.S. citizenship, and Alyaksandr Fyaduta, who served as Lukashenka’s spokesman in the 1990s, were extradited to Belarus, according to Atlantic Council.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday addressed the accusations.
“It’s normal that even such brutal behavior is not condemned by those who call it a Western collective. No one seems to notice it. It seems like nothing is happening,” Putin said.
“[T]he is involved in organizing coups and planning political assassinations, including the assassination of high-ranking officials – that’s a long way off. This is beyond any boundaries.”
Despite the American connection through one of the alleged criminals, the accusations of government involvement remain unsubstantiated. Instead, the claims serve as part of a larger emerging drama between Putin and the Biden administration.