Minsk, 23 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Authorities in Belarus today detained two prominent Russian political figures, Boris Nemtsov (pictured) and Irina Khakamada, on their arrival in Minsk and sent them both back to Moscow. Nemtsov and Khakamada, leaders of Russia's liberal Union of Rightist Forces, arrived in Minsk today to attend a conference on "Russia-Belarus: New Integration." Party spokeswoman Yelena Dikun said that officers of the Belarus security services immediately met the two.
According to Russia's Interfax news agency, Belarus security claimed to have found a package with a large amount of money and some documents allegedly belonging to either Nemtsov or Khakamada.
Dikun said it was, "a pure set up."
The two Russians were put in a car and driven to another airport where they were put on a plane heading back to Moscow.