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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lukashenko Calls for Vote

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday he wanted to stage country-wide referendums on NATO expansion and the right to private property, Russia's Interfax said.

Lukashenko, who advocates creation of a "union" with neighboring Russia, is a virulent opponent of NATO enlargement. He has also repeatedly called for extended state control over the economy. He was also quoted as saying parliament was working inefficiently.

Members of parliament in the country of 10 million immediately denounced the proposal.

"Holding a referendum on expanding NATO is impossible," liberal deputy Stanislav Bogdankevich said. "You cannot ban expansion by referendum. This is sheer stupidity."