Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 162

"Russian democrats, their Western sponsors, and Belarusan radicals have joined forces against Belarus, Lukashenka, and the Russia-Belarus Union," says Alyaksandr Lukashenka in yesterday’s issue of the Russian Communist newspaper Pravda-5. According to the Belarusan president, the Russian media’s "information war" against him stems from resentment over his "economic achievements… which are due to retention of state control over the main economic processes and support for collective agriculture." Therein lies his main difference with the "pseudo-democratic reformers," Lukashenka added. He expressed confidence that such differences will not affect his relations with Russia’s leadership and the development of the Russia-Belarus Union. (Pravda-5, September 2, cited by Russian agencies) In another Russian media interview given the previous day, Lukashenka noted that his Russian detractors have "in no way influenced the relationship between the Russian and Belarusan presidents thus far." However, he urged Russia’s leadership to curb the media’s "information war." (Russian TV and agencies, September 1-2) The remarks to Pravda would seem to constitute an appeal by Lukashenka for more active political support by Russia’s Communists in the current scandal over the detention of Russian journalists in Belarus. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation has thus far followed a cautious course equidistant between Lukashenka and the Party of Communists of Belarus, which has resisted the president’s seizure of personal power at the expense of the legislative branch. Russian and Belarusan Communists see eye to eye on that issue in their respective countries.

Karabakh Elects New President.