IN A MAY REFERENDUM, 83 percent of voters supported Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's plan for economic integration with Russia, and 75 percent voted for the return of the Soviet-era state emblem and flag. Although the referendum was not legally binding, voters also approved of giving the Russian language the same status as Belarusian and empowering the office of the president to dissolve the parliament.

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