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Belarusian President Dismisses PM Amid Economic Woes

FILE - Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed the country's prime minister, as the former Soviet state struggles with the effects of Russia's economic crisis.

Lukashenko's presidential office says he dismissed Mikhail Myasnikovitch, who had served in his post for four years, and replaced him with his chief of staff, Andrei Kobyakov.

President Lukashenko also replaced the head of the central bank and other top ministers as part of the government shakeup.

Although the Belarusian ruble is not officially pegged to that of neighboring Russia's, Belarus is highly dependent on Moscow and very sensitive to Russia's economic problems. Belarus sends about half of its exports to Russia and relies heavily on Russian subsidies.

Russia is trying to avoid falling into a recession as it struggles with a steep drop in oil prices and with U.S. and European Union sanctions due to its actions in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea last March.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.