Belarus Expels US Citizen for Interfering in Internal Affairs

Belarus expelled a US citizen for "interference in the internal affairs of the republic," the Belarussian state television said Sunday.

Robert Fielding from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations was compelled to leave Belarus on Saturday evening and was banned from entering Belarus for five years, Russian news agencies cited the television as saying.

Fielding had repeatedly visited Minsk and other large cities of Belarus at the invitation of the Belarussian Free Trade Unions formally to "share the experience of American and European trade unions in the relations between employers and employees," but has actually interfered with internal affairs of Belarus, the State Security Committee said Sunday.

For instance, he called on the republic's voters to support opposition candidate Vladimir Goncharik in the coming presidential election to be held on September 9 at a seminar of members of the Free Trade Unions in the city of Grodno on last Thursday, said the committee.

The security authorities also accused Fielding of making public statements that international bodies do not recognize the current Belarussian leadership, and of mobilizing the opposition for an unconstitutional removal of incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko from his office.

"Any attempt at interference by aliens in Belarus' internal affairs will be cut short up to their compulsory deportation from the republic, regardless of their status," the committee said.

People's Daily Online ---