Adress: 18 Oktyabrskaya Street

Berezino, 223310, Minsk oblast

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

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

Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk always has this unique atmosphere of international friendship, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the opening ceremony of the 27th edition of the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk on 12 July, BelTA has learned.

“It always has the atmosphere of international friendship that goes beyond national borders, political and religious views and convictions. The festival in Vitebsk serves the noblest goals,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced.

The head of state noted that every summer Slavianski Bazaar fills the streets of Vitebsk with music and turns the city into a huge art space where visitors can discover the world of ancient and modern traditions of folk art.

“The past and the present in the culture and destiny of people intertwine to give this event a feel of home for those who understand the nature of spiritual kinship, know their roots and value national heritage,” the president noted.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, it is for a reason that the history of the festival started in the period that marked the political end of the state that had been home to many nations for decades.

“Although politicians drew borders, people found a simplest, time-tested way to maintain good neighborly relations, which is through cultural ties. The land of Vitebsk was a birthplace of the tradition that consolidated the Slavonic world with a melody of popular songs, sounds of amazing voices, poetry and music of soul by well-known music writers and performers,” the Belarusian leader said.

The undestroyed unity, trust and mutual support between the nations became a true anchorage for fledgling sovereign states, the head of state noted. The international contest brought together kindred nations and caught the eye of talented artists from other corners of the world.

“Representatives of many countries and continents adorned this stage and gave meaning to this music forum. Through Art to Peace and Understanding - this affirmation shaped the concept of Slavianski Bazaar in the year of inception and it remains relevant today,” the president noted.

Belarus is set to reconcile its positions with the IMF in key areas of focus, Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich said as he met with chief of the IMF mission in Belarus Jacques Miniane on 11 July, BelTA has learned.

The speaker underlined that Belarus will be glad to use the IMF's expertise and knowledge. “We are going to reconcile our positions across the issues where we do not quite have a common ground. We want to focus on the shared vision rather than emphasize disagreements,” he said.

Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that the strategic objective of the Belarusian government is to maintain economic growth, promote SMEs, reduce economic vulnerability, and improve social security instruments. To achieve these goals, a set of documents was endorsed by the president. “With this in mind we would like to expand our cooperation with the fund. The optimal format is a joint program,” he said.

Belarus has built good relations with international organizations, including the World Bank Group that has recently adopted a new country program for Belarus. In this regard, the IMF's evaluation of Belarus' macroeconomic policy will be of particular importance. Mikhail Myasnikovich expressed hope that the ongoing visit of the mission and its negotiations with the government and the National Bank will send a positive message to international financial organizations and private investors.

Mikhail Myasnikovich and Jacques Miniane discussed a broad spectrum of cooperation avenues between Belarus and the IMF. The speaker noted that the country is pursuing an economic policy that is in accord with a classic IMF program, however without its financial support. “Maybe, we are a little bit behind the schedule, however we stick to the basic principles of such programs. The absence of a program with the IMF does not imply the absence of reforms. We are carrying them out. The transformations have a positive feedback from the public,” he said. Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that a coordinated policy is pursued at all government levels.

The speaker noted that a whole set of fundamental documents liberalizing economic activity in the country was passed in late 2017. Among them is Decree No. 7 “On the promotion of entrepreneurship” as well as a package of legal acts to flesh this decree out. “It is a brand new approach, new terms of economic operation,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

Jacques Miniane pledged all possible assistance as chief of the IMF mission in Belarus. He explained that the IMF has adopted the so-called ‘wait-and-see' approach to Belarus. “We are no longer in talks over a program, however, we are following economic developments in Belarus and other countries,” he said. Jacques Miniane noted that in the past Belarus' efforts to optimize its monetary and fiscal policy bore fruit and had a positive impact on the macroeconomic situation. The parties are set to continue cooperative relations in the form of consultations scheduled for Q4 2018.

A mission of the International Monetary Fund led by Jacques Miniane will work in Belarus on 9-13 July. It is a scheduled mission. Its goal is to review the current economic situation in the country.

The ties between people of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine will always be above any political interests and ambitions, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he addressed the Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends) on 7 July, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that the major theme of the festival is friendship between peoples. It was designed as an event that brings neighborly nations together. “Ancestors of these people also came together to have a beautiful celebration of the Kupala Night on the banks of the Dnieper River, a powerful river that links and nourishes the lands of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The ties between our people based on many centuries of common history, customs and traditions will always be above any political interests and ambitions,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

In his words, these ties were shaped by difficult and glorious times, enriched by common cultural events and strengthened by family unions. “It made us strong in our spiritual unity,” the head of state said.

The president noted that Slavonic bonds were put to the test for centuries. “Whenever politicians and statesmen broke these bonds, people restored them and found a way to each other obeying the voice of their heart and blood,” the head of state noted.

“The people Alexandria welcomes today are not just representatives of the brotherly nations, they are our kindred. We are happy to celebrate this festive night together. I am convinced that the Kupala Night lights lit these days will become a symbol for veneration of national traditions, our unity, solidarity and continuity of generations. They will call Belarusians to their native land, remind of their family, warm up their hearts with pleasant memories,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Belarus and Russia will update the roadmap on lifting mutual restrictions from dairy trade in 2018, the press service of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry told BelTA.

Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats negotiated with Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev on 2 July. The sides discussed the lifting of restrictions from the export of milk and dairy products. The two officials discussed the fulfillment of the roadmap designed to guide the removal of mutual dairy trade restrictions this year. The sides agreed to update the roadmap soon.

The intended figures in Belarusian-Russian trade in meat, milk, and sugar were also discussed as well as the integration of the Belarusian agricultural products tracking system with the Russian information system Mercury. The sides put together and signed the action plan on exchanging digital veterinary accompanying documents between components of the Belarusian and Russian tracking systems.

BelTA reported earlier that the Russian food quality watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has rescinded its ban on importing dairy products in containers of over 2.5 liters from the entire territory of Belarus and has compiled a list of authorized suppliers. Only those Belarusian companies can export their products to Russia. Those are the dairy plants in Baranovichi and Lyakhovichi, the Volkovysk-based dairy company Bellakt, KPUP Mozyr Dairy Products, OAO Turov Dairy Industrial Complex, and OAO Lida Milk Plant.

At the heart of the Belarusian sovereignty are people who do their work conscientiously and honestly every day, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he presented state awards on 27 June, BelTA has learned.

“Presenting awards in the run-up to the main public holiday is particularly symbolic and remarkable. After all, when we talk about the country's independence, we imply people. Our sovereignty is about people who do their work every day, conscientiously and honestly: they maintain peace and order in their native land and serve as an example of courage and devotion to duty; they strengthen economic stability, work at enterprises, construction sites, scientific laboratories, farms and fields; they provide social support working in healthcare, education and public associations; they shape the country's image with their sports achievements and victories,” the Belarusian leader underlined.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, recognition finds those who work to the benefit of the Homeland, those for who the highest reward is the results of their work. “Such people, dedicated and passionate about their work, true professionals and real patriots, are here now. You are a tower of strength for our state. Being an example to others, you do much more than commendation lists can say. You are the best example of excellence and personal success for those who are next to you. It means, you make a difference,” the president said.

He thanked the attendees for their professionalism and active citizenship and wished them good health, happiness and well-being.

State awards, including orders, medals and honorary titles, were bestowed upon representatives of all walks of life in recognition of their many years of fruitful work, exceptional professionalism and dedication, courage and determination in crime prevention and combat, achievements in agriculture and construction industry, a considerable personal contribution to the development and upgrade of military and special-purpose machinery, development of the power engineering system, light industry, healthcare, trade, science, culture and sport.

Belarus invites France to intensify investment cooperation. The matter was discussed at a meeting between Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich and a delegation of the France-Belarus Friendship Group of the National Assembly of France on 25 June, BelTA informs.

Mikhail Myasnikovich suggested discussing the prospects of investment cooperation, which Belarus is eager to intensify. He took note of the successes in the dairy industry, citing the example of cooperation with the French food company Danone and other producers. There is confidence in further progress in the area. “We would also like to see more headway in the industry,” said the chairman of the Council of the Republic. “Belarus and France are implementing a project in the pharmaceutical sector. There are also projects in engineering,” Mikhail Myasnikovich stated.

In 2017, the trade between Belarus and France went up 28%, as compared to 2016. The momentum continued in 2018: the mutual trade grew by about 13%. The head of the upper house of the parliament emphasized that Belarus still demonstrates a trade deficit and spoke in favor of balancing the mutual trade.

In turn, Chairman of the France-Belarus Friendship Group Christophe Lejeune suggested discussing the development of cooperation in agriculture, industry and tourism. In his words, a large number of agricultural enterprises in France are interested in developing cooperation with Belarusian partners, in particular in meat production, and would like to come to the country to hold talks. The head of the friendship group plans to return to Belarus in winter together with representatives of French agricultural companies. As for industry, including mechanical engineering, Christophe Lejeune suggested considering the possibility of expanding cooperation with Peugeot-Citroen Concern in part of car assembling and maintenance services. The MP stressed that Belarus would be a privileged partner of France both in a long, short and midterm perspective.

The parties also discussed cooperation in the international arena. Belarusian MPs hope that their French counterparts will support the resolution on digital economy. Belarus plans to present it during the summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Berlin. The participants of the meeting considered the prospects of regional cooperation and praised the activity of the parliamentary friendship groups.

The Kupalovskoye agro holding should mark a new milestone in the development of the agricultural industry in Belarus, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he visited the organizations affiliated with the Kupalovskoye agro holding in Shklov on 22 June, BelTA has learned.

“The goal is efficiency. Otherwise, you will not survive. It is not even about survival: we are now dealing with some uncertainty in agriculture. The question is how to move forward, how to ensure efficient production and survive in competition,” the head of state said.

He noted that setting up companies modeled on OAO Aleksandriyskoye was a similar step for Belarus' agriculture in due time. “So we have such an enterprise. What's next? This is a serious matter, and Kupalovskoye cannot fail. You should handpick managers very scrupulously,” the Belarusian leader said.

The president visited a cattle fattening unit of ZAO Bolshie Slaveni. The head of state asked in detail about the organization of work at this agricultural enterprise and the holding company in general, performance indicators, technological processes, plans for further development, procurement.

Alexander Lukashenko urged to harness cutting-edge technology as much as possible, focusing primarily on efficiency. “We need efficiency. This is most important. We need to focus on the most advanced technologies," he said. “Without technology we are doomed to failure. Competition is fierce,” he noted.

The president drew attention to the importance of labor discipline, starting from the head of the company to milkmaids and drivers. When discussing the agriculture industry performance in Mogilev Oblast, Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats reported that the organizations have resources, but the main reason why some farms fail to meet the targets is the non-compliance with agricultural manufacturing standards) and low operational and labor discipline.

The president urged to decide on the distribution of financial flows in the holding company soon. “This is the backbone of any management,” he said. The head of state warned that the producing organizations should not be hurt and that the funds should be distributed fairly. “You need to decide on the structure here. This must be done before the end of the year. I want to see business, forward-looking professional relationships here,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko pointed to a number of flaws in the development of ZAO Bolshie Slaveni. First of all, it applies to the cattle fattening unit and the way it looks inside and outside. “A sorry sight,” the head of state remarked.

He advised to tidy the place up not to scare potential investors off. “You should spruce this place up. You must work as hard as a private farmer does. This project [Kupalovskoye] is of national importance. We must ensure it turns into a success story. Everything is proceeding extremely slowly, there is no system-based work,” Alexander Lukashenko underlined.

The meeting in the local village council involving the local authorities and agriculture chiefs discussed details of the plans for the development of the holding company.

“This will be a new milk processing project. It will be most likely located in the town of Kopys. We will take away this cheese producing shop, the construction of which I once commissioned, because milk will be in abundance. We will build additional milk processing facilities to make cheese and something from the premium price segment that enjoys high demand on the market. We will build a small meat processing plant to process all kinds of meat to be produced here: beef, pork, and we will restore the complex, construct a sow farm. We should move quickly. Maybe we will come up with something else. But the main focus will be on meat, dairy and a retail network in Minsk, Mogilev, Orsha, Shklov… When we make it full cycle from production to trade, then profits will come flowing in,” the head of state said.

The president said that in due time the ideas for the modernization and development of the rural areas were tested at OAO Aleksandriyskoye because he knew that company and the lands very well. “Now it is a beautiful complex. Everything started there. We tested our ideas there. I think these are the golden lands [of the agricultural companies affiliated with the Kupalovskoye agro holding]. If we set up not just a farm but a holding company modeled on OAO Aleksandriyskoye [six small farms merged] then this will be a new stage,” the head of state said.

“But the thing about Aleksandriyskoye and Kupalovskoye is that they need private capital. We will not do it at the expense of the budget. For the time being there is no investor. But we should move forward anyway,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

With regard to agricultural exports, the president talked about the recent opportunities to export beef, poultry and milk to China. Gradually Belarusian enterprises are branching out into the markets of the countries of Africa and other regions of the world.

The president was reported on the progress of the forage harvest in the country and the region, the impact of weather and the crop storage measures, social and economic development.

In November 2016, during a working visit to the region, the president instructed to establish an agro holding, an effective integrated company with the full cycle of production, processing and sales using modern technologies at an agricultural company in Shklov District. Kupalovskoye Agro Holding was registered on 4 July 2017. It incorporates OOO Kupalovskoye - management company of the holding company, ZAP Bolshie Slaveni, OAO Amkodor-Shklov and OAO Novogorodishchenskoye.

The renovated Dinamo Stadium will reopen for the public in a spectacular ceremony on 21 June, BelTA has learned.

The organizers of the opening ceremony have prepared a diverse music and sports program for the audience. Performing for the public will be famous Belarusian artists, including Anatoly Yarmolenko, TEO, Anna Blagova, Victoria Aleshko, as well as the Defense Ministry Orchestra and the State Dance Company of Belarus.

The sports program of the show will be just as exciting. It will feature a junior relay race where boys and girls from all over Belarus will show themselves ahead of the European Championship 2018 and the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. The start to the relay race will be given by President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe and Olympic champion Yuliya Nesterenko.

A football match between the Dinamo Minsk/Dynamo Brest team with a mixed team of Belarusian top football clubs will be the highlight of the opening ceremony.

Flamboyant fireworks will light up the show.

The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on the Belarus 5 sports channel at 19:00.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed decree No.239 on measures to implement the Digital Economy Development Ordinance on 18 June. The document is designed to bring a number of legal acts into compliance with the Digital Economy Development Ordinance signed by the head of state on 21 December 2017, the press service of the Belarusian leader told BelTA.

In particular, the charter of the Minsk-based Hi-Tech Park will be expanded with provisions, which implementation will help provide the manpower the national economy needs in the sphere of information and communication technologies. The expansion will also contribute to the development of education and the promotion of new promising projects (startups).

The Hi-Tech Park administration will also be empowered to submit draft legislation on the operation of the park to the central government. The park's supervisory board will be able to determine criteria for selecting candidate resident companies, business projects, and procedures for implementing them.

As many as 34 new projects and six measures to develop innovative infrastructure have been included into Belarus' state program on innovative development for the 2016-2020 period. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has signed relevant decree No.236, BelTA has learned.

The new projects include the creation of modern enterprises to make electric car charging infrastructure components, the target practice complex Vertushka 2 and the unmanned aerial complex Feniks, LED-powered lighting equipment, the organization of production of innovative analysis and inspection complexes, special-use and dual-use optical and mechanical products, and the creation of a full-cycle high-technology agribusiness enterprise.

The decree authorizes using money of innovation funds for financing projects of backbone companies such as the Orsha instrument plant, Belshina, Brest Electric Lamp Plant, and Vityas.

The Communications and Informatization Ministry has been included into the list of customers of the program for the sake of stepping up digital transformation efforts.

The development of high-technology sectors has been expanded to include additive technologies, instrument making, electronic industry, and robot technology, electric transport and its infrastructure.

The decree is expected to encourage innovative activities in economy branches and regions of the country. It will help accelerate the development of innovative infrastructure subjects. It will allow using the necessary resources for establishing new high-technology manufacturing enterprises.

Page 1 of 54