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(RFE/RL) April 4, 2006 -- Belarus says it might reconsider its partnership policy with NATO following the alliance's criticism of last month's presidential election.

NATO officials said last week that the organization would refuse to deal with any Belarusian official who had been involved in the repression of peaceful demonstrations against the reelection of President Alyaksandr Lykashenka in the March 19 election.

The alliance also said it is reassessing its relations with Belarus.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Papou accused NATO of "intentionally politicizing" its relations with Belarus, which signed a Partnership for Peace agreement with the alliance in 1995.

Hundreds of people were detained and many remain in prison following the election. The Belarusian opposition, Western governments, and international observers say the vote was neither free nor fair.

(Belapan, AP)
Minsk, March 25

THE AUTHORITIES GET TOUGH: RFE/RL's Belarus Service filed these images from the police action against the March 25 demonstration in Minsk. Photographs by Maks Kapran.


Listen to the sounds of the demonstration:
Real Audio Windows Media
Real Audio Windows Media





THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.

COVERAGE IN BELARUSIAN: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's coverage of the election campaign in Belarusian and to listen to RFE/RL's Belarusian Service.