Belarus says it has received an asylum request from a man wanted in the United States for his role in the storming of the US Capitol.
Evan Neumann appeared on Belarusian state media on Sunday, after illegally crossing the border and seeking asylum.
The 48-year-old is on the FBI”s wanted list in the United States over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol building in January.
Thousands of supporters of former-US president Donald Trump stormed the building to prevent elected officials from validating Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Neumann is facing several charges over his alleged role, including assaulting a police officer and civil disorder.
He is believed to have fled to Europe in March and then spent several months in Ukraine before making it to Belarus in August.
In an interview with Belarus 1 in Brest — near the border with Poland — Neumann said he illegally crossed the border because he was being “persecuted” by Ukrainian security services.
An FBI report on Neumann, available on the US Department of Justice website, states that he was previously involved in the “Orange Revolution” that brought pro-Westerners to power in Ukraine in 2004 and 2005.
Belarus has no extradition treaty with the United States and tensions have escalated following the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko in August 2020.
The US and the EU have imposed sanctions on Lukashenko’s regime following his harsh crackdown on opponents and the “forced and unlawful landing” of a Ryanair flight to arrest a dissident journalist.