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In a recent speech, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, true to form, called for the abolition of NATO and said European countries are now talking about the success of the Belarusian economic model. Nothing that new there.

But he also expressed hope that his apparent "friendship" with Bill Clinton will mean U.S.-Belarusian ties will normalize if Hillary Clinton becomes secretary of state.

Bill, according to Lukashenka, will tell Hillary that the United States should engage Belarus in dialogue. "I'm counting on Bill," he said.

Lukashenka has that rare gift as an orator that the moment he says something, he sounds like he actually believes it. Perhaps he does.

For example, last year, he declared several times that no one apart from Belarus has any grain, not in Russia, not in Ukraine, not in Europe. Only in Belarus.

Or maybe he really is friends with Bill, I don't know.

-- Alexander Lukashuk

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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