Ukraine has protested to Belarus over what Foreign Ministry officials said was the seizure by border guards in neighboring Belarus of videotapes from Ukrainian journalists.

In a note delivered to Belarusian diplomats in Kiev, Foreign Ministry officials expressed concern over the seizure and demanded the return of the tapes.

Journalists from Ukraine's Titer Television say the tapes contained reports on preparations for the March 19 presidential elections in Belarus. The journalists said border guards told them the tapes could contain evidence of anti-government activity.

Incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet republic for 11 years, is running for a third term. In November, Mr. Lukashenko predicted he would be overwhelmingly re-elected.

The West has accused Mr. Lukashenko of suppressing democracy and stifling freedoms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.