Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 83

PresidentAleksandr Lukashenko said on Minsk television August 26 that "thereare no objective factors against Belarus-Russia unification"and blamed "hysterical politicians" for preventing it.Touting Belarus as a potential forward base for Russia’s armedforces, Lukashenko called for redeployment of those forces, includingtank divisions withdrawn from Germany, to rent- free bases inBelarus. Lukashenko termed the USSR’s dissolution "the mosthorrible thing;" urged a massive "deprivatization"in Russia; justified the arrest of the Minsk subway strike leaders,accusing them of working for "Western secret services"and for the Polish Solidarity trade union; and defended his decisionsto reinstate Soviet-era textbooks in place of post-Soviet ones.But Lukashenko’s latest speech may not reflect a settled policy.Four days earlier he had said on Minsk television that Russia-Belarusunification should not lead to "Russians again wiping theirfeet on us." His latest anti-Western outburst coincides withan IMF decision to drop Belarus from consideration for a $280million loan.

Old Belarusian Parliament to Meet.