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Germany summons Belarusian ambassador

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Sept. 20, 2012, 3:53 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

BERLIN — Germany's Foreign Ministry says it has summoned the Belarusian ambassador to protest the country's refusal to issue visas for election observers and journalists ahead of a parliamentary election.

The ministry said it told Ambassador Andrei Giro on Thursday that limitations to the freedom of the press and visa denials ahead of the election contribute to sending a "negative signal."

Sunday's vote in Belarus is expected to elect what is essentially a rubber-stamp parliament, with most power remaining in the hands of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

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