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U.S. Says No Foundation to Ilyukhin Statement Alleging CIA Plot

Washington, July 29 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department has added its denial to claims by Russian parliamentarian Viktor Ilyukhin that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is plotting to overthrow the president of Belarus.

A State Department spokesman told an RFE/RL correspondent that "these allegations are totally without foundation."

"The United States fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus," he said.

The United States enjoys friendly bilateral relations with Belarus and was one of the first countries to recognize Belarus when it became independent, the spokesman said. The United States has maintained an embassy in Minsk since February, 1992.

Ilyukhin, head of the Russian State Duma's security committee, said last week that CIA agents have set up a base in Warsaw to engineer the overthrow of Belarusian president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

A CIA spokesman in Washington dismissed the charge as nonsense. The U.S. embassy in Moscow and Zbigniew Siematkowski, Poland's interior minister, also denied the charge.