Russia-Belarus relations reach deadlock - Kremlin

Relations between Russia and the Belarusian leadership have reached a deadlock, but Russia will maintain political contacts with Belarus, the head of the Russian President's press service said on Monday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's attempts to "enter a new [presidential] term using anti-Russian rhetoric," have affected his personal relations with the Russian authorities, Timakova said, adding that the relations would never revert back to how they were before.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized Lukashenko in his video blog on Sunday for trying to pass Russia off as Belarus's main enemy in the run-up to the Belarusian presidential elections on December 19.

"The Belarusian leadership has always been characterized by a desire to create an external enemy image in the public consciousness," Medvedev said. "The United States, Europe and the Western countries acted as such 'enemies' earlier. Now Russia is declared the enemy."

Medvedev's video blog is a biting and not unexpected response to Lukashenko's 'crafty policy,' Russian political expert Dmitry Badovsky said.

"Lukashenko's key aim is to be re-elected, which is why he is maneuvering between the two sides," Badovsky said. "Soon he will try to make friends with Moscow again."

There has been speculation that Russia, which has traditionally backed former collective farm manger Lukashenko, may lend its support to an opposition candidate in the elections.

Lukashenko has expressed confidence that neither the Kremlin, nor the West would exert pressure on Belarus during the forthcoming polls.

GELENDZHIK, October 4 (RIA Novosti)


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