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Russia, Belarus relations get icier

GELENDZHIK, Russia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- In his video blog, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized Belarusian President Lukashenko for making Russia look like the country's main enemy.

In the ongoing icy relations between the two countries, Medvedev's criticism came as a response to Lukashenko's ramped-up anti-Russian rhetoric referring to his Russian counterpart's "crafty policy," RIA Novosti reported Monday.

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The verbal punch, counter-punch came as a run-up to Belarusian presidential elections Dec. 19.

"The Belarusian leadership has always been characterized by a desire to create an external enemy image in the public consciousness," Medvedev said. "The United States, Europe and the Western countries acted as such 'enemies' earlier. Now Russia is declared the enemy."

"Lukashenko's key aim is to be re-elected, which is why he is maneuvering between the two sides," Russian political expert Dmitry Badovsky said. "Soon he will try to make friends with Moscow again."

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