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Belarusian President Says 'Enough' Political Liberalization

A woman watches as President Alyaksandr Lukashenka gives his annual address on television at a Minsk electronics store.
MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in an annual address to the National Assembly that Belarus's attempts to liberalize its economy have produced some real results, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Lukashenka said, "We have done a lot in this direction [of liberalizing the economy]. We have lessened the tax pressure."

But he warned that people must be aware "liberalization is not a one-time act," and said "some charlatans and boneheads" understand it as allowing them to do anything they want.

Lukashenka said that is "a road to chaos."

As for political liberalization, he said "we have had enough of it."

Lukashenka added that Belarus is paying "the price of globalization" while also suffering from the global economic crisis.

But he stressed that Western countries have themselves resorted to "economic regulatory measures," something which they had previously criticized Belarus for doing.