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Media: Belarus Accuses Russia Of Whipping Up Tensions Over Zavadsky

Minsk, 20 July 2000 (RFE/RL) - Belarus officials say Russian media are "whipping up tension" in connection with the disappearance of a Belarusian TV journalist. The Belarusian embassy in Moscow today accused unnamed news media in Russia of beginning to puff up what the embassy said was a "dirty campaign" in connection with the disappearance of Dmitry Zavadsky, a Belarusian camera operator for Russia's ORT government television.

Zavardsky failed to show up for a meeting July 7 at the airport in the capital, Minsk. ORT journalist Pavel Sheremet, whom Zavadsky was to meet, has said he fears the Belarusian secret police are to blame.

Belarusian officials have rejected the allegations.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Pavel Latushko attacked recent expressions of concern by the U.S. State Department, urging the United States to refrain from what he called "inaccurate interpretations."