Sunday, 25 April 2010

Lukashenko rebukes Kremlin for military bases

The authoritarian leader of Belarus has scolded the Kremlin for not paying for Russian military bases deployed in the ex-Soviet nation.

President Alexander Lukashenko said Sunday that Russia pays "zero rubles, zero kopecks" for two using two bases outside the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

One of the bases is part of Russia's ballistic missile early warning system. The other provides communications with Russian submarines in the Atlantic.

Lukashenko was indignant about last week's agreement between Russia and Ukraine that allowed Moscow to extend its lease of Ukrainian port in return for discounts for natural gas.

Lukashenko also said he might cancel his participation in a summit of a Moscow-dominated security alliance later this month.

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