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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Parliament Rift

MINSK () -- The Belarus parliament has accused President Alexander Lukashenko of failing to produce promised market reforms.

Deputies voted Thursday to remove a preamble to the draft budget, which said the plan would be carried out on market terms.

"The preamble discredits the term 'market economy.' There is no market economy in Belarus, and I don't see one in the near future," deputy Vladimir Zablodsky told the chamber.

Lukashenko retorted that his government was "moving in the direction" of reforms, but that changes without guidance would ruin the economy.

"What are reforms? We tried privatization without controls and limits, and look what that brought us," he said. "Freeing prices completely will boost prices 10 times, and we won't be able to support the economy."