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Belarus: President Meets Russian TV Director

Minsk, 9 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Belarus' President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today met the head of Russian ORT television and promised that ORT will remain in Belarus.

The detention more than two months ago of an ORT journalist, Belarus' citizen Pavel Sheremet, severely strained Russia-Belarus ties. Sheremet was freed earlier this week following Kremlin pressure.

Ksenya Ponomaryova, ORT acting director-general, told reporters after the two-hour long meeting behind closed doors, that Lukashenka had also promised that another ORT correspondent, Vladimir Foshenko, will be given provisional accreditation. Foshenko was previously refused accreditation by Minsk authorities.

Ponomaryova also said Sheremet's fate was not raised but certain points of disagreement over his case were discussed. Sheremet was released on a pledge not to leave Belarus and is still to stand trial on charges of illegally crossing the country's border.