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Lukashenka Calls Freedom 'Unbearable'

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo)
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo)
Authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has used a quote from Russian classic novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky to label personal freedom an "unbearable" burden for which Belarus was not yet ready.

In his annual state of the nation address, Lukashenka said that Belarus has no use for revolutionary activities which "lead to chaos and bloodshed."

He added, "The great Dostoyevsky wrote that there is nothing more unbearable for a person than freedom. And of course he was right."

Lukashenka -- once labeled the last dictator in Europe by the United States -- has kept a tight grip on the country of 10 million since first becoming president in 1994.

His crackdown on the opposition and 2010 arrest of his main political rivals have led to waves of trade and travel sanctions from both the EU and the United States.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax