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Lukashenko Warns Belarus Businesses on Political Funding

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said businessmen who fund political opponents of his regime will be deemed enemies of the state.

Business owners should step up efforts to help the government modernize industry and should help provide social benefits, he said today during a meeting with entrepreneurs in the capital, Minsk.

“Participating in social-welfare programs should be the norm for businessmen,” the president’s press service cited Lukashenko as saying.

Lukashenko, who’s regime has been called a dictatorship by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, secured his fourth term in 2010, triggering protests and a police crackdown. Belarus has used its economic ties with Russia to secure financial aid over the past two years as it grappled with fallout from a balance-of-payments crisis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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