Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 91

Belarusan president Aleksandr Lukashenko warned on May 6 that he will "extirpate terrorism with a red-hot iron." Lukashenko elaborated on charges made the previous day by his chief spokesman that "terrorists" of the political opposition had recently blown up several gas distribution pipelines, but conceded that a "large terrorist organization" does not exist in Belarus; otherwise he "would certainly have known about a Belarusan Liberation Army." Nevertheless, some "rabble is certainly prepared to resort to terrorism," Lukashenko charged. He vowed to take countermeasures. (Interfax, May 6)

Gas company and civil defense authorities had attributed the three April explosions to the failure of aging pipelines before the president’s spokesman changed the story in an attempt to intimidate the political opposition. (See Monitor, May 5) Lukashenko’s comments suggest that he is holding this "anti-terrorism" card in reserve for the time being.

Restrained Tones on Solana’s Visit to Ukraine.