Interviewed this week in Poland, Belarus Popular Front leader Zyanon Pazniak said that the creation of the Russia-Belarus SSR presages a de facto reannexation of Belarus to Russia and thereby threatens the security of Belarus’s neighbors. Pazniak and other Popular Front leaders are under investigation, ordered by President Aleksandr Lukashenko, for organizing and addressing recent mass rallies in Minsk to defend Belarusian sovereignty. Pazniak indicated that the Popular Front and other national-democratic groups in Belarus intend to intensify contacts with Polish political forces and inform international organizations via Poland about the course of events in Belarus. The opposition groups call for "a fully independent, neutral Belarus maintaining good relations with all its neighbors." (PAP as cited by Reuter and UPI, April 15)
Not long ago at the forefront of the national movement in Belarus and an active force in the parliament, the Popular Front failed to win seats in the 1995 parliamentary elections. On the other hand, emergent reformist and nationally minded groups with roots in the political establishment have entered parliament as a minority and are likely to resist a merger with Russia.
Russia Said to Halt Fleet Partition in Sevastopol.