Medvedev calls Lukashenko statements 'hysterical'

3rd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev denounced Sunday statements by Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko that Moscow was supporting his opponents in the presidential election as hysterical and anti-Russian.

"The election campaign is totally built on anti-Russian subjects and hysterical accusations against Russia," Medvedev said in video posted on the Kremlin's website.

"With his statements President Lukashenko is not only trampling on diplomatic norms but also those of basic human decency," said Medvedev.

Lukashenko accused Russian companies on Friday of financing opposition politicians in Belarus ahead of the country's presidential elections in December.

He also took aim at Medvedev, accusing him of meddling in Belarus' election and saying that he should "concern himself more with Russia, it would be more useful."

Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, was for years a loyal servant of Moscow and relied heavily on Russian subsidies to keep his country's economy afloat.

Relations between Minsk and Moscow have become increasingly prickly over the last months as Lukashenko, whose regime was once dubbed by Washington as Europe's last dictatorship, seeks closer ties with the West.

Russian television recently called Lukashenko a "psychopath".

"The Belarussian authorities are known for always seeking to create in the public's mind a foreign enemy," Medvedev said.

"Only before America served in this role, then Europe and the West in general. Now Russia has become one of the main enemies," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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