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Belarus Ready To Help Counter U.S. Missile-Defense Plans --> (RFE/RL) July 3, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has pledged to set aside economic disputes with Moscow and work more closely with Russia to counter U.S. plans to build a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported.

Lukashenka made his comments during ceremonies in Minsk marking Belarusian Independence Day today.

Lukashenka said NATO's eastern expansion and U.S. missile-defense plans "seriously worsen the military and political situation on our borders."

Belarus's relations with Russia soured earlier this year due to a dispute about energy prices.

(with material from Reuters, ITAR-TASS)