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Belarus's Lukashenka Appoints New PM

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has appointed a new prime minister and bank chief in the country's biggest government reshuffle since 2010.

Lukashenka tapped his chief of staff, Andrey Kabyakau, to serve as the country's new prime minister.

Lukashenka appointed Kabyakau immediately after dismissing his previous prime minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich, as well as National Bank head Nadzeya Ermakova and other ministers.

Kabyakau, 53, previously served as Belarus's ambassador to Russia before serving as Lukashenka's chief of staff. He will be replaced by Alyaksandr Kasinets, formerly the head of Vitebsk Oblast.

Ermakova has been replaced by Pavel Kalaur, who had been serving as the bank's deputy chair.

The reshuffle comes as the Belarusian leader is hoping to brace his country's economy against fallout from the economic crisis in neighboring Russia, its main trade partner.

It also comes as Lukashenka is preparing to run for reelection in 2015. He has served as president of Belarus since 1994.

With reporting by Reuters
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