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Belarus boycotts CSTO meeting due to Russia's dairy ban
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09:37, June 15, 2009

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Belarus will not attend a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Moscow on Sunday, as Russia bans imports of its dairy products, the Interfax news agency reported.

"Belarus had remained hopeful until the last moment that Russia would lift the discriminatory ban (on Belarusian dairy product imports) and the dispute would be settled in accordance with the procedures spelt out in international agreements,"

Andrei Popov, a spokesman from Belarusian Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying.

"In the current setting, Belarus was compelled to make the decision to cancel its participation in the CSTO Collective Security Council's meeting in Moscow on June 14, 2009," he said.

The CSTO is a security group comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Heads of the seven CSTO member states are scheduled to meet in Moscow to consider the composition of its rapid reaction forces, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Head of Russia's consumer protection and public health watchdog, Gennady Onishchenko, said on June 9 that Russia has almost banned all dairy products imported from Belarus.

Source: Xinhua

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