Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 149

The third round of talks, mediated by the European Union, between President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s government and the leaders of Belarus’s legitimate parliament was suspended on its second day yesterday. The talks never overcame differences over a basic procedural issue — namely, the definition of the talks’ purpose. The EU delegation, which included Council of Europe representatives as well, issued a communique blaming the failure on Lukashenka’s intransigence and on his sudden decision to downgrade the level of his delegation. The talks began in June, and a fourth round is now tentatively planned for September, subject to consideration "at senior levels of the EU," the mediators said. (Belapan, Russian agencies, July 29-30)

Gunfire Stops "Alcohol Convoy" at Russian-Georgian Border.