Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Russia is interested in moratorium on death penalty in Belarus, foreign minister says

Russia is interested in the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty in Belarus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview aired by a radio station.

Commenting on the recent execution of Dzmitry Kanavalaw and Uladzislaw Kavalyow, who were sentenced to death in last year's subway bombing trial, Mr. Lavrov said that although "fight against terrorism must be merciless", Russia had introduced a moratorium on capital punishment and was interested in "all other European countries joining the moratorium."

Belarus is currently the only country in Europe that still administers the death penalty.

Mr. Lavrov described the abolition of capital punishment as a "complex and intricate matter." He expressed certainty that "Belarus' movement toward full-fledged membership of the Council of Europe will solve the problem of the application of capital punishment as its abolition is one of the conditions of membership of the Council of Europe."