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Worried About Moscow, Belarus's Lukashenka Drifts Toward Brussels

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/belarus-lukashenka-drifts-toward-brussels/…;

Alyaksandr Lukashenka isn't known for waxing poetically about the Belarusian language. But that's exactly what he did at a youth gathering in Minsk earlier this month.

“Culture is what makes a Belarusian person Belarusian,” Lukashenka said. “It is not only literature, music, and architecture, but also our language, which we must know; our history, which we must remember; and our values, which we must respect.”

The unexpected defense of the national identity -- and particularly the Belarusian language -- was one of many indications in recent months that the authoritarian Belarusian president has grown uncomfortable with his country’s current geopolitical position in the shadow of neighboring Russia.

“No matter who comes to the Belarusian land, I will fight,” Lukashenka said in an interview with Russia’s independent Dozhd television last May. “Even if it is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

To read the full story

Robert Coalson reported and wrote from Prague. Rikard Jozwiak reported from Brussels. RFE/RL's Belarus Service also contributed to this report.

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/belarus-lukashenka-drifts-toward-brussels/…;

Worried About Moscow, Belarus's Lukashenka Drifts Toward Brussels

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