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General Information about Belarus
Belarus is situated in the centre of Europe at the crossing
of roads going from east to west and from north to south. The land has
been very attractive geopolitically for many foreign countries.
Belarus has always stood as a buffer state between the
East and the West between the Catholic and the Orthodox religions.
The population of Belarus is 10.3 million, the density
being 50 people per sq. km which is roughly equal to the population of
Greece. Sweden, Bulgaria, Belgium of Portugal. The average annual population
growth is 0.5% which is considered quite normal for a European country.
The urban population accounts for 68% and the rural - for 32%.
123 nationalities call Belarus their homeland. Out of
these 78% are Belarussians, 13% -Rusians, 4% -Poles, 3% - Ukrainians,1%
Jews. All these nationalities live here in good neighbourhood and peace
because they have so much in common: they all love their country, its history,
its traditions, which allow for a Polish-Roman and an Orthodox churches,
a Jewish sinagogue and a Moslem mosque to stand facing each other in the
same square or street.
We manufacture "Belarus" tractors which enjoy
world's popularity. No other country in Europe manufactures as many tractors
100,000 a year. We produce around 800,000 high- class refrigerators and
over a million of high quality TV sets, as well as about 300,000 first-rate
The Republic's factories annually turn out 45 million
pairs of shoes, with Germany being the only country in Europe producing
more. We rank second in Europe after Italy in the manufacture of chemical
fibres and yarn, spinning about half a million tons of it per year.
In fact it is industry that plays a major part in our
economy, accounting for about 60% of the country's gross national product.
Around 1400 factories, power stations, quarries and petroleum wells are
in operation to attain the magnitude.
Belarus stands fairly well if compared to other CIS countries.
It is the biggest producer of potash fertilisers, fodder harvesters and
industrial sewing machines. It ranks second in the manufacture of trucks,
motorcycles, tractors, chemical fibres and yarn, commercial wood. It is
the CIS third largest producer of metal-cutting machines, electric motors,
tyres, timber, paper, cardboard, window glass, refrigerators and freezers,
TV and radio sets, bicycles and textiles.
We have a well-developed transport system: 30% of all
freight and 10% of passengers are carried by train. The total railroad
length is 5,500 km. The total length of motor roads is 55,000 km, water
ways 3,800 km. The Belarussian airlines connect the country with more than
a hundred former USSR cities as well as with cities of Europe, Asia and
Agriculturally, Belarus is well off in cattle breeding
whose share in the collective and state farm turnover is about 80 70 We
export about a thousand goods items to over 78 countries of the world.
Our main trade partners are companies from Poland, Bulgaria, Austria and
To complete the picture, I'll say that Belarus is noted
for its high-skilled manpower trained at the Republic's 8 universities,
29 institutes, 400 vocational and specialized colleges and schools. Our
scientists' achievements in the fields of mathematics, physics, nuclear
power engineering, chemistry and biology are known the world over.
It should also be noted that the country puts out 200
newspapers with a one-time print- run of over 5 million. There are five
big TV centres.
If you look at our arts and literature you will find
them very versatile. Sometimes you may wonder: is there more Slav heartiness
and meditation than European rationale and tradition in them? You will
find it hard to separate the inseparable. It is next to impossible to single
out clear- cut trends and influences, schools and styles.
The European civilization was closely linked with the
national traditions and artistic criteria of Belarus still in the Middle
Ages when our prominent scholars and thinkers had a possibility to study
at well-known European universities. Eventually the connection gave birth
to a product called the Belarussian art.
The musical art of Belarus which began with the famous
"Polotsk Motes" is comprehensive and rich. The Belarussian. The
theater art boasts a great number of outstanding actors and directors,
whereas the country's cinematography is marked for its traditional humanness
and deep thought.
There are not many works of art to challenge the sweetness
of Maxim Bogdanovich's and Yanka Kupala's poetry, the depth of Yakub Kolas'
and Vasil Bykov's prose, the magic of Vladimir Korotkevich's and lan Barschevski's
However, our people are not only known for their strong
will and talent. If we take, for instance, sports and games, we'll find
out that a small country like Belarus emerged among the world's top ten
countries at the Barcelona Olympic Games.
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