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Minsk Vendors Protest New Trade Rules

The protesters gathered on Minsk's Kastrychnik Square on February 2015.

MINSK -- Hundreds of Belarusian vendors have rallied in Minsk, protesting a presidential decree introducing new regulations for retailers.

The protesters gathered on the central Kastrychnik Square in the Belarusian capital on February 15.

They held placards reading" "For Freedom Of Entrepreneurship!" and "Decree 222 Leads To Unemployment!"

Presidential decree No. 222 came into effect on January 1 and obliged private vendors in Belarus to obtain documents proving the "legality" of any goods for sale from member states of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

Vendors said it was not always possible to obtain such papers.

In order to avoid fines, thousands of vendors across Belarus have stopped their operations and some markets are standing idle.

Opposition leaders Uladzimer Nyaklyaeu, Mikalay Statkevich, and Anatol Lyabedzka joined the protesters.

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