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BELARUSIAN KGB ACCUSES OPPOSITION OF PLOTTING COUP... Stsyapan Sukharenka, head of the State Security Committee (KGB), told journalists in Minsk on March 1 that opposition activists are planning to detonate explosives in a crowd at one of their protests after the March 19 presidential vote and then blame the authorities for the resulting bloodshed, Belapan and Reuters reported. "Blood and victims would give the protest organizers a free hand to seize the buildings of government agencies and train stations, block railroads in order to paralyze the state," Sukharenka said. He noted that the plot is to be carried out by activists of nongovernmental organizations aided by "militants" from Georgia, Ukraine, and former Yugoslav republics. "I do not think that after we have made it public they will take such a step. However, we will keep on monitoring the situation and if they take such a risk, we will find the explosives," Sukharenka added. JM
...WHILE OPPOSITION PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE REJECTS CHARGE AS 'MALICIOUS FALSEHOOD.' Speaking on Ukraine's Channel 5 on March 1, united opposition presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich denied that his supporters are planning to seize power, Reuters reported. "This is an absolutely malicious falsehood," Milinkevich said. "We are peaceful people, a peaceful coalition. We are telling the authorities all the time -- hold a fair election, and there won't be any revolution in Belarus. But the authorities do not want to do so." Without securing official permission, Milinkevich has called on his supporters to meet with him on Liberty Square in downtown Minsk on March 2 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," March 1, 2006). Central Election Commission Chairwoman Lidziya Yarmoshyna told Belapan on March 1 that Milinkevich may be held responsible by criminal prosecutors for organizing an unsanctioned rally. Meanwhile, Milinkevich told journalists the same day that the authorities' behavior toward the planned rally will be a "litmus test" for the opposition. "If they use force, we reserve the right to take appropriate measures," Milinkevich said without elaborating. JM
BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT IGNORES CAMPAIGN SPOTS ON TV, RADIO. Belarusian Television on March 1 broadcast a show about a presidential fund for support of gifted students instead of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's presidential campaign spot to which he is entitled under law, Belapan reported. Lukashenka also gave up his right to his TV campaign spot on February 21, when Belarusian Television aired a cautionary documentary about political revolutions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Also, on February 24, Belarusian Radio played Soviet-era Belarusian songs when Lukashenka's campaign address was expected to be broadcast. On March 2-3, the three Belarusian national television channels are to air a total of 10 hours of live broadcasting from the Third All-Belarusian People's Assembly in Minsk, at which some 2,500 delegates handpicked by the presidential administration are expected to approve a program of socioeconomic development of the country for the next five years. JM
UKRAINE AGREES TERMS OF WTO ENTRY WITH UNITED STATES. Kyiv and Washington have completed bilateral talks on mutual access to commodity and services markets under Ukraine's preparations to obtain membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Interfax-Ukraine reported on March 1. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced on March 1 that Ukrainian Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is expected to sign a relevant agreement with U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman in Washington on March 6. Ukraine began talks over WTO membership in 1994 and has yet to complete bilateral talks with eight more countries. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said on March 2 that the accord with the U.S. gives Ukraine hope for joining the WTO this year. JM