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Belarus/Russia: Yeltsin to Make Radio Address On Belarus Accord

Moscow, April 4 (NCA) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin will deliver a radio address tomorrow to explain the agreement he signed with Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Wednesday.

Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said today the theme of the Russian president's speech will be "formation of a union between Russia and Belarus, its tasks, problems and perspectives." The speech is due to air at 1100 Moscow time (900 Prague time).

The signing of the agreement, which was much scaled down from the original draft, sparked violent protests in the Belarus capital on Wednesday. Dozens were injured in clashes with batton-wielding police and the interior ministry said 107 demonstrators were arrested. About 30 people have been tried behind closed-doors and given short jail terms. Belarus's opposition Popular Front, which organized the unsanctioned rally, has vowed to keep up press against the authoritarian regime.

Yastrzhembsky also said today that Yeltsin is concerned by events in the former Soviet republic and is aware of liberal concerns over human rights and freedoms there.