Hundreds Protest In Minsk Against Union With Russia
Hundreds of people marched through the Belarusian capital on December 7 to protest against plans for a tighter union with Russia amid increasing pressure by Moscow on Minsk for further integration. Many red-striped white banners, the banned flag of the first independent Belarusian state, as well as European Union flags could be seen, as protesters marched through the city in what was one of the biggest unsanctioned rallies there in recent times according to some estimates. Inspired by a similar protest in the Baltic states 30 years ago, pro-democracy supporters also linked hands along a major road in the city. The demonstration comes as the leaders of Russia and Belarus met in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi to discuss bilateral issues on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 1999 union treaty, which was supposed to create a unified state.