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Belarusian President Threatens Government Over Weak Economy

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo)
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has threatened to dismiss his country's government because of poor economic results.

At a cabinet meeting on March 1, Lukashenka said that a "repetition of the 2012 economic situation this year will lead to the government's immediate dismissal."

Media reports in Belarus say that the Belarusian economy grew 1.5 percent in 2012, while Lukashenka's forecast was at least 5 percent.

Lukashenka's threat came the same day the country’s national bank stopped accepting 10- and 20-Belarusian-ruble banknotes due to inflation.

The current exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble against the U.S. dollar is 8,650 Belarusian rubles to $1.

Based on reporting by BelTA and Interfax