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Landlocked, Belarus sits at a traditional European crossroad -- bordered north by Latvia and Lithuania, west by Poland, south by Ukraine and east by Russia. The location is a key to its strategic perceptions.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled, often with an iron hand, since 1994. In October of 2004, a referendum passed that allowed Lukashenko to serve more than two terms. Opposition parties failed to win a seat in the Parliament, and protests broke...

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