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Belarusian President Tells Europe To Stop Interfering


Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) MINSK, April 12, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says Minsk is ready to deepen ties with European countries provided they drop their "double-standards policy," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported.


Lukashenka made the remarks today at a news conference in Minsk.

MORE: Coverage in Belarusian (including audio) from RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

"That what we tell Europe: if you want [to have relations] without double standards, that's fine, we're ready for that," he said. "If you are not interested and simply want to grab us by the collar like an ugly duckling or a kitten to lecture us, than thank you, we've lived here long enough to know where to go and how to develop. Please, do not meddle and do not get in our way."


Lukashenka said Western media wrongly accused Belarusian authorities of repressing the opposition.


He also said Minsk would take part in counte-measures if the United States goes ahead with its plan to deploy elements of a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.


ALYAKSANDR LUKASHENKA IN FOCUS
Europe's Lonely 'Last Dictator'
"This is not an era in which the European powers are willing to overlook human rights violations. He just stands out like a sore thumb in Europe," a leading analyst says. more
Father Of His Country Or Fatherless Son?
Those seeking to understand Lukashenka's political behavior could get a good start by reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel "The Autumn Of The Patriarch." more
Going His Own Way
"Russia is trying to disregard the former Soviet republics, thinking they will remain hooked to the Russian Federation," Lukashenka said. "This is a misguided position." more
Politics In Belarus

Demonstrators in Minsk on March 25 (RFE/RL)

WHAT HAPPENED? Belarus scholar Vitali Silitski and RFE/RL Belarus analyst Jan Maksymiuk took a look a how Belarus has changed since mass demonstrations in Minsk in March 2006 failed to produce meaningful change in that country.


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Listen to the entire briefing (about 70 minutes):
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