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Belarus Vows Cooperation With Russia in Opposing Plans for US Missile Shield

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says his government will set aside economic disputes and work closer with Russia to oppose U.S. and NATO plans for a missile shield in central Europe.

In an address in Minsk Tuesday, Mr. Lukashenko said NATO's eastward expansion and the proposed missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic would "seriously complicate" the military-political situation in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced strong opposition to the missile shield. He has proposed alternatives to the U.S. plan, including joint use of a radar site in Azerbaijan, or alternately in southern Russia. Washington is evaluating those proposals.

Mr. Lukashenko is barred from traveling to the United States and many European countries because of his human rights policies. His comments today were made during a speech at a military parade marking Belarusian independence day.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.