Belarus to Bar 100,000 From Leaving

MINSK, Belarus -- More than 100,000 people -- roughly one of every 100 citizens -- will be barred from leaving Belarus after Jan. 1, the interior minister told journalists Saturday.

The list of those unable to travel abroad will include those serving suspended sentences, with access to state secrets, owing alimony or otherwise in debt, Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov said.

"It is not possible to say the list will be short," Naumov said. "More than 100,000 people will be on it."

Opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich expressed the fear that the "black list" could be used to prevent opposition activists from traveling to maintain contacts with Western politicians.

"I have had problems on the border more than once and would not be surprised if [President Alexander] Lukashenko's government tried to put opposition members on the list," Milinkevich said.