Belarusian President Condemns NATO Enlargement, US Missile Defence System

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that NATO enlargement and the American system of missile defence seriously complicate the military and political situation, the Charter-97 news agency reported on 15 July.

Lukashenka spoke at a function for the graduates of the General Staff department of the Belarusian Military Academy.

"The eastward expansion of NATO, the deployment of the American strategic missile defence system elements near our borders, and degradation of the international legal base in the area of arms control are seriously complicating the military and political situation," Lukashenka said.

He also condemned the economic sanctions against Belarus, saying that "economic sanctions against our country, the political pressure and the speculations on the issues of freedom and democracy contradict the principles of good neighbour relations and cooperation".

Lukashenka expressed his concern about anti-constitutional change of power in Belarus, saying that "some Western politicians are constantly voicing outright calls for anti-constitutional change of power in the country and for imposing the Western model of the so- called democracy".

He also noted in this respect that "such activities are aimed at destabilization of the situation, destruction of the political system and subordination of a sovereign state to the powers that aim to establish a unipolar world". "Real independence is independence from the dictate of the world powers, from the spread of a lifestyle alien to the mentality of the people," Lukashenka said.

Originally published by Charter-97 website, Minsk, in Russian 15 Jul 08.