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Lukashenka Says Minsk 'Concerned' By Russia's Actions

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has blamed Moscow for a trade dispute that is straining ties between the traditional allies.

Speaking to the Belarusian Security Council in Minsk on December 16, Lukashenka said "the behavior of our eastern brother cannot leave us unconcerned, but we are not going to make any conclusions before I speak to the Russian president."

Russia and Belarus have been at odds since late November, after Russia banned imports of meat and milk from Belarus, claiming it found traces of harmful substances.

Minsk has also refused to follow Moscow's lead in introducing bans on food products from the European Union.

Lukashenka also criticized the West.

"Minsk is concerned by the West's attempts to reach its geopolitical goals by intensifying intelligence activities and increasing the number of NATO troops in Poland and the Baltic states," he said.

Based on reporting by BelTA and Interfax