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Russian, Belarusian Leaders Trade Barbs In New Row

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) greets his Belarusian counterpart Alyksandr Lukashenka in Gorki, outside Moscow, in June.
Russia and Belarus have traded barbs in a row that is raising questions about the future of their post-Soviet alliance.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of distorting remarks he made about the recognition of Georgia's breakaway regions.

The Kremlin today reacted furiously, accusing Lukashenka of "inconsistency" and threatening to publish a full transcript of an official meeting to back up its case.

The dispute erupted over whether Lukashenka promised to recognize the independence of the breakaway pro-Moscow Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russia says Lukashenka made the vow at a meeting of a regional security group, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but then failed to fulfill his word.

compiled from agency reports