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    RUSSIAN UNION OF INDUSTRIALISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS DEPUTY CHIEF CRITICIZES BELARUS PRESIDENT FOR PURSUING DOUBLE STANDARD POLICY

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    MOSCOW, January 30, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Polina Kalabukhova) - Igor Yurgens, Deputy Chief of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), has said Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko was pursing the policy of double standards.

    "Mr Lukashenko acts according to the principle 'Give me everything, while I will give you nothing'," Mr Yurgens said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    Belarus should decide whether it is part of the union with Russia or not. If not, let it buy Russian natural gas for world-level prices, he said.

    "Belarus wants large shipments of gas for the low prices of a Russian region, while for its party it does not want to make any political concessions whatsoever," said Mr Yurgens. He accused Belarus of dragging the introduction of the common currency.

    RUIE President Arkady Volsky said the Russia-Belarus gas dispute would be hopefully settled soon.

    He said the problem of Russian gas supplies to Belarus should have been discussed beforehand, before winter set in.

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