Country Information

Republic of Belarus

Official name: Republic of Belarus.

Area: 207.6 thousand square meters. km.

Capital: Minsk - 1 million 959.8 thousand people.

Geographical location: Belarus is located in Eastern Europe. It borders with Russia (total length of the border is 1056 km.), Ukraine (975 km), Poland (398.6 km), Lithuania (599.2 km) and Latvia (177.5 km).

Administrative-territorial division: Belarus is divided into 6 regions and 118 districts. There are 110 cities, 101 urban settlements and 24022 settlements. The regional centers are Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Grodno, Brest.

Population: The population of the Republic of Belarus at the beginning of 2018 was 9,491.8 thousand people, 78.1% of it is concentrated in cities. In the capital of Belarus (Minsk) live 1 million 982.4 thousand people.

The national composition: Belarusian - 81.2%, Russians - 11.4%, Poles - 3.94%, Ukrainians - 2.4%, Jews - 0.3%.

Religion: 80% of believers are Orthodox Christians, the Roman Catholic Church about 13% and 5% - Protestants. There are also Uniate, Jewish and Islamic denominations.

State languages: Belarusian, Russian

National currency: Belarusian ruble (BYN).

State holiday: Independence Day (Republic Day) since 1997 is celebrated on July 3 - the date of liberation of Minsk from the fascist aggressors.

Natural conditions: The climate is moderately continental, with significant influence of Atlantic sea air (with frequent cyclones). The average temperature in January is minus 8 degrees, in July - plus 18 degrees. Most of the country's territory is a lowland. The main rivers are the Dnieper, the Western Dvina, the Pripyat, the Neman. There are 11 thousand lakes. The ecological situation is unfavorable: 20% of the territory remains radioactively contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl disaster (April 1986).

Belarus is a founding member of the UN, the CIS, the CSTO, the EEA, the Union State, and also a member of other international associations.

The state-political structure: Belarus is a unitary, democratic, social, legal state, a form of government is a presidential republic. The President of Belarus is delegated legislative powers to issue decrees and decrees having the force of law. On October 11 2015 on the election of the President of the country for the fifth term elected Mr. Alexander Lukashenko.

There is a bicameral parliament - the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic. There are 110 deputies in the House of Representatives. Deputies are elected by majority system by direct universal suffrage. The Council of the Republic is elected by local Soviets - 8 members of the Council of the Republic are elected from each region and city of Minsk. 8 members of the Council are appointed by the president - only 64 people. The term of office of the National Assembly is 4 years.

Executive power: implemented by the government - the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister (since August 18, 2018 - Rumas Sergey Nikolaevich).

Judicial power built on the principles of territoriality and specialization. Control over the constitutionality of normative acts in the state is carried out by the Constitutional Court, six members of which are appointed by the president and six are elected by the Council of the Republic. Their term of office is 11 years.

Economy: The economy in Belarus built on the principles of a socially-oriented and market model. The structure of the Belarusian economy is characterized by the dominance of state ownership in production, energy, transport, mining, construction, agriculture and banking, and a small share of the private sector. There is no centralized distribution and planning, except for macroeconomic indicators. The state regulates prices for socially important groups of goods.

Belarus IT services exports per capita better than all CIS countries. There are significant developments in the field of high technology: in particular, in the manufacture of optical and laser instruments, automated control systems

The country has developed energy, engineering, agriculture, chemical and forestry, construction and production of construction materials and mining.

According to the National Statistical Committee of Belarus, GDP for the beginning of 2018 was about 26 billion. rubles.

The main export items are oil and refined products, potash and nitrogen fertilizers, metal products, trucks and cars, tractors, tires, dairy and meat products, furniture.

The basis of imports are energy resources (oil and natural gas), raw materials, materials and components (metals and products made from them, raw materials for chemical production, parts of machines), technological equipment.

Main trade partners: Belarus maintains trade relations with more than 190 states. Russia is the main trade partner of Belarus, 45,3% of export and about 57% of import fell to her share. The second place in commodity turnover is taken by the European Union to which share 26,2% of the Belarusian export and almost fifth part of import fell. The main import countries of the Belarusian production in the European Union: Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium, Romania, Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria.

Export to all member countries of EEU has increased: to Kyrgyzstan – by 3,6 times, to Kazakhstan – for 64%, to Armenia – for 34%, to Russia – for 21%.

Dynamically trade relations with partners in Latin America – Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, in the Asian region – the UAE, Qatar, Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, South Korea, China.

Area of farmlands: 8927 thousand hectares.

Agriculture specializes in cultivation grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beet, a flax, meat and dairy livestock production.

Natural resources: Wood, peat, small oil fields and natural gas, granite, dolomite, limestone, clay, sand.

Ecology: Belarus stronger than other countries has suffered from the Chernobyl accident. Considering weight and scale of defeat of the country as a result of accident, in July, 1991 the territory of Belarus has been announced by a zone of ecological catastrophe. The ecological situation is aggravated also with strong development of the chemical and petrochemical industry and also universal construction of large livestock complexes without appropriate technologies for processing of organic waste.

Transport system: The railroads and the motor transport - the main types of transport connection in the country. The network of the railroads is focused on the trunk main passing through Orsha, Minsk and Brest which connects Belarus to Moscow in the east and Warsaw in the West. Operational length of ways — 5512 km. In total in Belarus of more than 83 000 km of public roads and about 200 000 km departmental (the agricultural, industrial enterprises, forest, etc.), including 10 000 km in the cities and settlements. The river fleet transports on 1500 km of navigable waterways (mainly in the basin of Dnieper). Air transport is developed rather poorly; the largest airport of the country is near Minsk. In the country, there are seven international airports in total.

Education and culture. In Belarus work National Academy of Sciences, 45 state and 10 non-state higher educational institutions, 219 institutions professional and 121 – secondary vocational education. In the country, there are 27 theaters, 6 philharmonic halls, 153 museums.

Armed forces of Belarus consist of ground forces, the Air Force, troops of air defense, special troops, military schools. Belarus is a member of the CSTO.

Foreign policy: On the international scene, Belarus pursues the multivector foreign policy, which is most fully answering the purpose of national development.

Belarus maintains diplomatic relations with 168 countries of the world and is represented today by foreign offices in 50 of which 48 embassies, 2 embassies/permanent missions at the international organizations, 2 permanent missions at the international organizations, 7 consulate generals and 1 consulate are opened. Abroad also 13 offices of the Belarusian Embassies function.

Mass media. In Belarus about 700 newspapers and 800 magazines are issued. The largest of them – “The Soviet Belarus — Belarus Today” newspapers (circulation – more than 400 thousand copies), “The national newspaper”, “Republic”, “Star”, “the Belarusian Field”. Also non-governmental editions – “National will”, “Novina”, “The Belarusian newspaper”, “Free news” are issued.

Five public channels of television function: “Belarus 1”, “Belarus 2”, “Belarus 3”, “Belarus 4”, “Belarus 5”, “National television” and “Capital television”. The channel of satellite television Belarus-24 functions. The Russian TV channels – ORT, RTR, NTV, STV, RENTV are partially relayed (without news programs).

Official state news agency is the Belarusian cable agency (BelTA) which main competitor the Belarusian independent news agency “BELAPAN’. Representative offices of Interfax, ITAR-TASS, “RIA Novosti” and other foreign news agencies are open.