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Social Democrat

Swedish Mediation Frees Imprisoned Belarus, Releases Military Vehicles

Published måndag 16 februari 2009 kl 11.23
Urban Ahlin

The Swedish Social Democratic parliamentarian Urban Ahlin has reportedly used his extensive contacts in Belarus to free an imprisoned opposition leader Alexander Kozulin and earlier to gain the release of Swedish armoured vehicles destined for Afghanistan but confiscated mid-way in Belarus.

The release of the imprisoned politician was obtained through the Swede’s mediation involving the regime in Minsk – eager to improve relations with a critical Washington - where some Americans have denounced human rights violations in Belarus.

The military equipment case is 3 years old - and is explained by the Swedish air force decision earlier to make money-saving stop-overs in Minsk because of the low cost of fuel on the long flights to Kabul. Without the mediation, the case could have sparked an international incident.

Ahlin is his party’s spokesman on international affairs and has long been working to support the opposition in Belarus – or White Russia - called the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe.

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