Adress: 18 Oktyabrskaya Street

Berezino, 223310, Minsk oblast

Phone +375-17-15-5-58-41

Fax: +375-17-15-5-58-41

The optimization of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the development of foreign economic activities were discussed at the meeting of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko with Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei on 18 January, BelTA informs.

“You wanted to discuss some issues concerning the optimization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with me. I am ready to discuss any issues so that we could make a decision,” the head of state said.

At the same time, Alexander Lukashenko stressed that he is, first of all, interested in foreign economic activities. “In simple terms I am aware of the results. But you have more precise information. Please inform e about the prospects of diversifying foreign trade, the operation of our embassies in a couple of words,” the president said.

Vladimir Makei said that there was positive dynamics in the development of foreign trade in 2017. “The export went up 23%. Two thirds of this increase is attributed to the growth of prices, one third – to the physical growth of export. That is why, we can say that this is a positive trend in general,” the minister of foreign affairs said.

“Thorough analysis shows that there are no reasons for self-complacency. As for diversification, there has been progress in this field, but we still need to do a lot,” the minister said.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 08:55

Belarus' GDP 2.4% up in 2017

Belarus' GDP grew by 2.4% in 2017. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov quoted the figure during the session of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers on 16 January, BelTA has learned. The session was focused on measures to implement Belarus' social and economic development tasks and on the national economy's expected performance in January and in Q1 2018.

Andrei Kobyakov stated that the GDP growth rate was 102.4% in 2017 while the forecast was 101.7%. Thus, the government managed to reach the economic growth parameters specified by the five-year program and compensated for the lag of 2016. The head of state has approved development forecast parameters for 2018. The relevant government resolutions have been passed after that to set up a matrix of key parameters for the entire power vertical, noted the prime minister.

Andrei Kobyakov stressed: “The key tasks of balanced economy growth is increasing and diversifying export, raising investments, and creating jobs primarily in the small and medium business sector.” With these in mind it is necessary to begin full-scale work to implement the decisions made by the head of state with a view to liberalizing business operation terms.

Moscow is in favor of having no borders between Belarus and Russia. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov made the statement during the press conference held on 15 January to sum up results of Russian diplomatic work in 2017, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Lavrov said: “In order to have a transparent border, our actions should be synchronized. Actions concerning the life of people within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia as a whole should be synchronized, too. There is an agreement on equalizing rights of Belarusians and Russians. Belarusians, who stay in hotels in Russia, and Russians in Belarus should pay as much as citizens of the relevant country pay. The same should be done in sanatoriums, too. So, we are wholeheartedly in favor of having no borders between us at all.”

“We would like no unilateral steps taken in relations of our countries,” noted the Russian minister of foreign affairs. “This is why we have suggested negotiating the approval of the agreement on the mutual recognition of visas. It is nearly ready and I hope it will be passed soon. We are ready for it.”

It is important for Belarusians not to lose their identity in today's rapidly changing world. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the reception held on 12 January to celebrate Old New Year, BelTA has learned.

The current generation of Belarusians lives in a very complicated period of time. Speaking about Belarus' development, the country's position in the tumultuous and rapidly changing world, Alexander Lukashenko noted that the nation can in no way distance itself from negative processes. “We have to learn how to counteract them,” stressed the head of state. “We should learn how to live in this world, how we should adjust yet preserve our identity, the roots, from which the Belarusian nation stems.”

Speaking about future, Alexander Lukashenko sincerely noted without any populism that things will not be easy. “Things will not be easier than they were in 2017 or previous years. But we've set out to reach ambitious goals. We should reach the goals whatever the cost. If we don't do it year after year, the days of our Belarusian statehood are numbered,” said the head of state.

How the country will develop and what Belarus will be like in the future depend on every citizen. “Our life is not magnificent and not even good. It is bearable for now,” said Alexander Lukashenko. According to the president, there is hope the situation will improve.

Speaking about the attitude to the country's accomplishments in Belarus and abroad, the head of state reminded: “It is sad when one has no friends. It is tragic when one has no enemies. We probably have both friends and enemies. It means we have some future ahead of us,” added Alexander Lukashenko.

Such receptions ahead of Old New Year celebrations have become a good tradition. Representatives of mass media and creative intelligentsia — successful, beautiful, inspired people — have been invited to attend the reception, noted Alexander Lukashenko. How Belarusians will be judged as a nation depends a lot on how these people look. Yet publicity and popularity represent a great responsibility, noted Alexander Lukashenko. “You are the face of our nation. You should be an example to follow, true icons of culture, etiquette, and style. Recognizable people — television, culture, and art workers, sport athletes — are capable of making healthy lifestyle or in-depth knowledge fashionable, capable of inspiring pride in our nation. It is their mission,” stressed the head of state.

Before presenting the state awards Alexander Lukashenko noted that people employed in artistic occupations have no holidays to celebrate since they are the ones to arrange all the festivities. He thanked the creative elite for everything they did the previous year and wished them greater accomplishments this year.

A number of mass media professionals were given the president's letters of commendation and state awards for many years of fruitful and hard work, for covering the most important events in the country's social, economic, public, and political life, for creating common information space and advancing Belarus-Russia cooperation in television and radio. Vladimir Pertsov, Director of the Belarusian branch of the interstate television and radio company Mir, was awarded a Francysk Skaryna Medal. Another medal went to Olga Makei, department head at the Television News Agency of the Belarusian State Television and Radio Company.

A number of other mass media professionals, including representatives of BelTA, the Belarusian State Television and Radio Company, the interstate television and radio company Mir, the TV channel Belarus Two, and the TV channel STV were awarded letters of commendation.

The singer Alexander Solodukha was awarded the title Honored Artist of the Republic of Belarus for the considerable personal contribution to the development and popularization of Belarusian pop singing art.

The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) has revealed the top 10 scientific accomplishments secured in 2017, the NASB press service told BelTA.

Praise goes to the United Informatics Institute for the fundamental research and development of a compact movable supercomputer for processing large amounts of data and handling high-precision modelling and design tasks. The top 10 scientific accomplishments list also mentions the materials science R&D center for the development and synthesis of composite and nanostructural magnetic materials, which offer excellent microwave qualities and can protect microelectronics from destabilizing external effects.

Praise also goes to the united energy and nuclear research institute Sosny for the development of methods and software for calculating optical cross-sections of atom nuclei with guaranteed precision. Such methods are used to handle scientific and engineering tasks in nuclear energy industry.

The Bioorganic Chemistry Institute will be awarded for finding out how Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria suppress the human immune system at a molecular level. The knowledge will be used to create new-generation medications to cure tuberculosis. The same institute has also found a new universal indicator of the antioxidative potential for diagnosing the resilience of a person to oxidative stress. Sergei Fedorovich, a senior researcher at the Biophysics and Cell Engineering Institute, is praised for finding out how oxygen deprivation interferes with synaptic transmission in neurons of animals. Correcting such interference can protect the brain from damage in an ischemic stroke.

The Microbiology Institute is praised for detecting and inactivating the genes regulating the synthesis of antimicrobial metabolites in bacteria. The knowledge will allow greatly increasing the production of specific biologically active compounds and creating new-generation crop protection agents.

The Soil Science and Agrochemistry Institute is lauded for creating a microbial compound, which combines effects of a bio fertilizer, a growth regulator, and a bio fungicide. The Center for Belarusian Culture, Language, and Literature Studies and the United Informatics Institute have come up with ways to convert digital orthographic records of Belarusian words into phonetic transcriptions for the sake of creating the first full Belarusian linguistic reference book. The History Institute has been noted for finding unique Slavonic settlements in southern Belarus and for finding out how the early Slavonic community emerged and evolved in Belarus' territory.

The award ceremony will be timed to Belarusian Science Day in late January 2018.

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has lifted the restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, BelTA learned from the National Bank.

“As part of the measures to promote the gradual liberalization of foreign currency relations, the National Bank has lifted the restrictions regarding legal entities and individual entrepreneurs' access to the foreign exchange market to purchase foreign currency for certain purposes. The corresponding decision has been laid down in Resolution No.538 of 28 December 2017 signed by the Board of the National Bank. The new rules shall enter force in a month after the official publication of the document," the National Bank explained.

The resolution has approved the new version of the instruction on the procedure to perform currency exchange operations. The new instructions provide for the establishment of the uniform procedures to perform foreign exchange transactions by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs on the domestic foreign currency market. Resident legal entities will be able to purchase foreign currency whenever they need. The resolution does not outline the terms for the use of the purchased foreign currency.

A similar procedure governing foreign exchange transactions will apply to individual entrepreneurs.

In accordance with the new regulations, when purchasing foreign currency legal entities and individual entrepreneurs shall indicate the code for the use of foreign currency. However, this will be done for statistical purposes only and will not impose any restrictions on the use of foreign currency.

The lifting of the foreign exchange restrictions and the establishment of the uniform procedures for currency exchange operations involving legal entities and individual entrepreneurs will provide greater freedom to entrepreneurial activities and will reduce the administrative costs of economic entities associated with the need to apply to the National Bank for a permission to purchase foreign currency for the purposes not stipulated in the legislation, to extend the retention period and change the intended use of the purchased foreign currency. The decision will also create the conditions for the development of the derivatives market.

In addition, the lifting of the foreign exchange restrictions for legal entities will make an additional step towards the harmonization of the monetary legislation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union and will create the background for the subsequent lifting of other restrictions and encumbrances established in the monetary legislation of Belarus.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 09:11

Lukashenko awards outstanding Belarusians

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko presented For Spiritual Revival Awards, the special prizes to culture and art luminaries, and also the Belarusian Sport Olympus awards in a ceremony in the Palace of Republic on 9 January, BelTA has learned.

“Honoring the people who serve the lofty goals has become a good tradition in Belarus, which is unmatched in the world. It is not surprising that the tradition emerged here,” the head of state noted.

“We have inherited great spiritual heritage. We see it in the examples of the righteous life of the Belarusian saints, in great creations of the poets, artists, musicians and architects who were born on our land. It is in the spiritual heroism of the people who preserved faith, love for the motherland, respect for the history and culture despite the incredible ordeals of the menacing war years and social upheavals,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president noted that the world is troubled today. An invisible struggle for the human soul is in progress. The Christian pillars of morality come under attacks, the traditional family foundations are eroding. “The worldview and the way of life of people are changing under the influence of information flows. There are more and more temptations. It is getting increasingly difficult to protect souls from dark thoughts and emotions. In the pursuit of material goods and glitzy flare people are losing their true beauty: the inner light of good feelings and noble deeds, which our people, all Slavic people have been known and renowned for,” the president said.

According to him, for the sake of ratings the television teaches viewers to like watching negative news, scandalous talk shows. Social networks deprive people of live communication, and computer games replace real life with virtual reality.

“It is but a fraction of the challenges the society faces today. The reality slowly but persistently erodes the existing system of traditional moral values. It is particularly important not to miss our timing, not to lose our spiritual essence. There is no doubt that culture, art, and religion should come to the forefront. Their influence on people's minds is enormous. It is they that shape the images and ideals, which many people refer to as paragons of virtue. This is why people of culture and art, mass media professionals, clergy, pedagogues and everyone, who cares for what the world will be, should pool their efforts for the sake of reinforcing the moral standards of our nation,” stated the Belarusian leader.

The president underlined that spiritual immunity is needed against amorality and bad taste. Culture and art should always be a source of energy and fortitude for people. “We remember and honor the rich legacy of the past generations. The eternal light of their feelings shows us the way and fills life with profound sense even now. The current generation should make the light even brighter so that our children and grandchildren could pick up the baton and pass it on,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “With this in mind we should set an example of how important it is to appreciate, respect, and thank the people, who continue the great work of preserving and creating Belarus' spiritual legacy. We can never stop and leave nothing to those, who will come after us.”

Alexander Lukashenko noted that the world is changing rapidly. For instance, five years ago nobody could have imagined how much the Internet will change the way of life of the entire human kind. “However hard we may struggle we are stuck in this World Wide Web. It makes people's lives easier by delivering up-to-date information fast. You can see how life is changing, including for the better. On the other hand, the changes bring huge problems we are struggling to contain. We don't know how to tackle some of them yet,” believes the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko encouraged the society's elite, creative Belarusians to learn how to use the new opportunities themselves and teach it to children, how to live while the World Wide Web influences people's minds and hearts.

“It is necessary to teach from the school age, teach your children how to use multiple sources, learn many points of view in order to make the right conclusions. It is important for the youth. You and I were taught that practice is the judge of truth and young Belarusians could use more practice, more experience,” stated Alexander Lukashenko. “We should teach them to doubt everything, to seek different sources, get familiar with different points of view, and use tips and experience of the older generation and their own experience to choose the point of view that suits the normal life of our society.”

The head of state was convinced that the awardees make the world better and brighter. Their work creates an atmosphere of goodness and mercy. “Ancient traditions of Belarusian craftsmen are revived. Interest in the past accomplishments of our ancestors is awoken. Family values are defended. Charity is encouraged. Patriotism is inspired. With their talents our people, who will be here — several of them — inspire genuine love for high art. By ascending to the sport Olympus, they glorify Belarus at the international level, awaken the feeling of pride in our nation and our country,” stated the president.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, not only government agencies should suggest candidates for these awards. “If you feel you have created a worthy product, which will last for centuries, which will bolster the spirit of our nation not only today but tomorrow as well, feel free to suggest your names among other ones,” said the head of state. “It is very important for me. In all my years as the president of the country I have always demanded honest and fair practices. As we award some people, we should not offend those, who may be one step above them. Don't be shy. Go ahead and put your names on the list”.

Five awards For Spiritual Revival were bestowed by the Belarus president for the year 2017 accomplishments. Labor collectives and representatives of religious associations were awarded for active work in the humanitarian sphere. The awardees include the public association Belarusian Union of Women, employees of the National Library of Belarus, the N.N. Aleksandrov National Oncology and Medical Radiology Center, the senior priest of the Saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk Church parish in the town of Ivenets, Volozhin District, Minsk Oblast, archpriest Viktor Peregudov, the mufti of the Islamic Religious Association in the Republic of Belarus Abu-Bekir Shabanovich.

The Belarus president also bestowed special prizes upon people of culture and art for last year's accomplishments. The awardees include mass media professionals, culture and art specialists, authoring teams, cultural institutions for considerable accomplishments in the sphere of mass media, historical and cultural legacy, theater and pictorial arts, amateur art, museum business, and the training of talented youth.

Special prizes also went to authors of the Television News Agency of the Belarusian Television and Radio Company and the Belarusian State Arts Academy. The prizes have been bestowed upon Deputy Director of the National History and Culture Museum-Reserve Nesvizh Sergei Yegoreichenko, authors of the postal stamp publishing center of the Belarusian postal service operator Belpochta and the Oktyabrsky District Arts and Crafts Center, and the Belarusian National Drama Theater.

Special prizes also went to the Lida District Culture and Amateur Art Center, the concert organization agency Minskconcert, the Belarusian State Music Academy, and the painter Valery Slauk.

Winners of the Belarus president's special award Belarusian Sport Olympus 2017 are the chief coach of the national trampolining team Olga Vlasova, a special reporter of the TV channel Belarus Five Vladimir Novitsky, and a member of the national track and field athletics team Violetta Skvortsova.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has signed the decree to bestow the special prizes Belarusian Sport Olympus for last year's accomplishments, the press service of the Belarusian leader told BelTA.

The awardees include the chief coach of the Belarusian national trampolining team Olga Vlasova. She has worked hard to train the country's top athletes, winners of Olympics, world and European championships. Her charges included a number of trampoliners such as the 2016 Olympics champion Vladislav Goncharov and several winners and prize takers of world and European championships.

Vladimir Novitsky, a reporter of the TV channel Belarus Five, is on the Belarusian Sport Olympus awardees list, too. He is one of the most famous sport commentators in Belarus, one of the most experienced employees of the Belarusian Television and Radio Company, a member of several sport federations, a co-author and a host of a weekly talk show on elite sport and the special project Overtime: KHL. Vladimir Novitsky was awarded for his considerable personal contribution to encouraging a healthy lifestyle, popularizing physical training and sports among Belarusians.

A master of the track and field athletics sport, the triple jumper Violetta Skvortsova is on the awardees list, too. She was awarded for successful performance at multiple international competitions and for demonstrating her active civic position and a respectful attitude to Belarus' national symbols. During an award ceremony held as part of the U20 European Track and Field Championships she walked off the field because some other country's anthem was played instead of Belarus'. The YouTube video of this occurrence had 8.3 million views and some 17,000 comments.

Monday, 08 January 2018 08:41

Belarus' gold, forex reserves total $7.3bn

According to the preliminary data, Belarus' gold and foreign currency reserves totaled $7,315 million as of 1 January 2017, if calculated in accordance with methods of the International Monetary Fund, BelTA learned from the Information and PR Department of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.

In December 2017, the country's gold and foreign currency reserves went down by $98.4 million (1.3%) following the November growth by $18.4 million (0.2%).

The Belarusian government and the National Bank of Belarus honored more than $501 million worth of domestic and foreign commitments in December.

Belarus' gold and foreign exchange reserves were bolstered thanks to the budget revenues, including revenues from selling government bonds nominated in foreign currency by the central bank and the Finance Ministry, export duties on oil and oil products, and an increased cost of the monetary gold.

The country's monetary policy for 2017 envisaged the growth of gold and forex reserves by at least $500 million. On the whole, the growth of gold and forex reserves made up 2.388 billion (48.5%).

The major factors behind the growth of the gold and forex reserves in 2017 were the revenues from selling government bonds nominated in foreign currency by the central bank and the Finance Ministry, export duties on oil and oil products, the purchase of foreign currency by the National Bank via the Belarusian Currency Stock Exchange, tranches of the financial loan from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, the loan from the government of the Russian Federation, and an increased cost of the monetary gold.

According to the country's main monetary guidelines for 2018 the volume of international reserve assets, taking into account the honoring of domestic and foreign commitments in foreign currency should reach at least $6 billion on 1 January 2019.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has conferred For Spiritual Revival awards and special prizes to Belarusian art luminaries in 2017. The head of state has signed corresponding decrees on 4 January, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

The president conferred five awards For Spiritual Revival in 2017 on the groups of authors and representatives of religious associations in recognition of their vigorous humanitarian activities.

The prize was conferred on the Belarusian Union of Women in recognition of the efforts to promote family values, protect maternity and childhood, active charity work.

The prize was also bestowed upon the National Library of Belarus for the facsimile replication and promotion of the book heritage of Francysk Skaryna.

The Belarusian Research Center of Oncology and Medical Radiology named after N.N.Aleksandrov was awarded the prize in recognition of a big contribution to the promotion of the ideas of humanity, charity, and mercy.

The award was also conferred on archpriest Viktor Peregudov, the prior of the Church of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk in the village of Ivenets, Volozhin District, Minsk Oblast, for the organization of social aid to disabled children and other categories of people.

Mufti of the Muslim Religious Association in the Republic of Belarus Abu-Bekir Shabanovich was honored with the prize in recognition of a big personal contribution to the preservation of spiritual values and traditions of Muslims in Belarus.

Ten special prizes were awarded to Belarusian figures of culture and art in 2017.

These prizes were bestowed upon workers of the information sector, culture and art, teams of authors, cultural institutions for significant achievements in the information sector, historical and cultural heritage, theater and fine art, amateur art, museum affairs, education of talented youth.

The award was conferred on the team of authors of the main directorate of the Television News Agency of the Belarusian Television and Radio Company, including Alexander Atrashevsky, Antonina Stankevich and Ruslan Turkov, for the production of the documentary series Life Work.

The prize was bestowed upon the team of authors of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, including Polina Amelyanovich, Konstantin Kostyuchenko, and Gleb Otchik, for the project to embellish Saints Cosmas and Damian Church in the village of Vishnevo, Minsk Oblast.

Deputy Director of the National Historical and Cultural Museum Reserve Nesvizh Sergei Yegoreichenko received the award in recognition of a big contribution to the preservation of the historical legacy of the Republic of Belarus and the publication of the album Nesvizh. The Park and Palace Ensemble. The Collection of Weapons and Armor.

The award was bestowed upon the workers of the Marka Publishing Center of Belpost Company for a big contribution to the preservation of the spiritual legacy of the Republic of Belarus, production of a collection of stamps on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of book printing in Belarus and the 135th anniversary of birth of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas, other landmark events in the history and culture of Belarus.

The special prize was also conferred on the workers of the arts and crafts center in Oktyabrsky District in recognition of a big contribution to the preservation and promotion of traditional weaving techniques and the organization of exhibitions.

The Belarusian Drama Theater received the special prize in recognition of a big contribution to the development of theater art, organization of events to celebrate the 500th anniversary of book printing in Belarus.

The special prize was bestowed upon the team of the Lida District center of culture and amateur art for the project From the Past to the Present to restore unique weaving techniques of the Belarusian Neman region, and the production of traditional and modern Belarusian clothes.

The special prize was conferred on the workers of Minskconcert for the project to organize a summer music and tourism season in the cultural center of Minsk.

The Belarusian State Music Academy received the special prize for the implementation of large-scale creative projects for talented children and youth.

The special prize was also conferred on artist, member of the Belarusian Union of Artists Valery Slauk for a big personal contribution to the development of the national school of easel graphics and book illustration, the organization of the exhibition Planet Slauk, personal exhibitions in Minsk and Belarusian regions.

Such decrees on presenting awards attest to the ongoing attention of the state to the creation of a healthy spiritual atmosphere in Belarus and the promotion of the Belarusian culture and art.

Page 1 of 46