Leader of Belarus seeks strategic relations with U.S.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko attends the EURASEC Summit, November,27.2009.

From Andrei Makhovsky, Reuters:  Belarus’s outspoken leader Alexander Lukashenko, long at odds with the West but lately quarreling with Moscow, said on Friday he wanted better ties with the United States and berated his estranged ally Russia.

"We can, and we would like, to normalise relations with America, and we do not hide this," state media quoted Lukashenko as saying during a visit to Belarus’s central Minsk region.

"We have many themes for negotiations, we have proposals from our side as well as proposals from the American side. I believe these issues can be resolved. …"

"America stays on its position, but Russia has sharply changed its stance, trying to bring the president of Belarus to heel before the well-known political events," he said.

"But you have known me for ages — it is impossible to bend me and trying to do so is useless. …"

In Friday’s remarks, he blamed Moscow for failing provide incentives to Belarus that would offset any negative consequences of recognising the breakaway Georgian regions.  (photo: Getty)

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