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It is bounded to the north and east by Russia, to the northwest by Latvia and Lithuania, to the east by Poland and to the south by Ukraine. Its economy is based on the industrial sector (automobiles, machinery and chemical products); on cattle breeding and on cereal, sugar beet and potato cultivation.
The government is headed by the president, who is elected through universal suffrage. The president names the prime minister, who is a member of the majority party in the parliament. Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral Parliament (National Assembly) with a total of 64 seats. These are filled by 54 members appointed by regional assemblies and 8 who are named by the president. The judiciary branch is headed by the Supreme Court.

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