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President Lukashenko says West trying 'to strangle' Belarus

RIA Novosti

14:50 21/04/2011

MINSK, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday Western countries are preparing direct interference in his country's affairs and are trying "to strangle the country with a slipknot."

"First there were political threats, disavowal of [presidential] elections, [European] entry bans and economic sanctions. Then there was an instigation of turmoil on our foreign currency market and dances on the bones after the blast at the Oktyabrskaya metro station," Lukashenko said addressing the parliament and his people.

Earlier in the week, Lukashenko hit out at Western powers for "not sending condolences" to the people of Belarus following the April 11 terrorist attack at the Oktyabrskaya subway station in Kiev that killed 13 and wounded over 150 people.

"These are all links of one chain aimed to plant mistrust for the authorities and to strangle the country with a slipknot. They want to force us to be just like everybody else, like they are eventually. We are like a bone in their throat," he said.

"If they try to bend us, to bring us down to our knees, we will at least resist. We will fight for our plot of land," the president added.

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since 1994, was reelected in disputed polls in December. Dozens of opposition figures, including political rivals, were arrested after violent protests in Minsk following the announcement of the presidential result.

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