Time runs on regardless of life’s rich tapestry. Whatever happens, we can be sure of the passing of time. Belarus magazine is celebrating its 80th anniversary, having launched in the 1930s — which was, of course, a completely different age. However, the magazine has kept to its initial mission of reflecting reality and honouring heroes. We have always been at the centre of events and remain so as we pass into the 21st century. Our present has its own unique characteristics and we do our best not to neglect them.
We aim to recognise important and interesting events, reporting on the phenomena and people who embody contemporary, sovereign and independent Belarus. We are a European country with centuries of history and rich culture. Over the last five years, the magazine has acquired a huge readership all over the globe and is now published in several foreign languages. Remote Argentina and Mexico, as well as France and Germany, can learn more about our Belarus. It’s impossible to list all the foreign states where Belarus magazine appears but we do sometimes hear from our readers around the world, who comment on what they’ve seen and read.
Of course, our magazine is also oriented to those residing in our native Belarus. We hope that our dear readers are interested in our articles, wherever they reside.
This jubilee issue pursues the same goals. It is dedicated to contemporary relations between Belarus and Turkmenistan — once former Soviet republics and now independent states with their own biography of independence and sovereignty. Our look at Belarusian-Turkmen relationships has been inspired by the recent official visit to Minsk by the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, and his negotiations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Degree of Change describes the essence of Belarusian-Turkmen liaisons.
Turkmenistan boasts rich resources — an essential factor in building future ties. The issue of hydrocarbons has been recently topical in Russian relations. The pragmatism of Russian politicians towards resource supplies sometimes seems overstated but we explore this topic in Twisting Path of Oil Flow.
Contemporary politics always possess some historical elements, which can’t be ignored. This year, Belarus and Poland will be celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunewald. Will the anniversary of the historic battle, where our ancestors stood shoulder to shoulder, inspire a positive shared memory? Belarus’ Ambassador to Poland, H.E. Mr. Victor Gaisenok, tells us about our inseparable historical ties, as well as the new tasks which lie ahead, in More Than the Fame of Grunewald Unites Us!
Meanwhile, the first student village is being launched in Minsk, as presented in Student Accommodation Opens. 2010 began with pleasant news for Minsk’s State Linguistic University students; the university signed a memorandum on mutual understanding with the UN Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management, Muhammad Shaaban. The University is to train high class translators and interpreters for the UN, as detailed in Our People at the UN. We look at the professional opportunities open to these students, as well as the University’s other international projects.
One of the country’s most ancient cities — Polotsk — has been named the republic’s cultural capital for 2010. All Routes Lead to Polotsk asserts that Polotsk has always been, and remains, a centre of cultural life. Finally, Olympic Mood looks at the mood of our Belarusian athletes in Canadian Vancouver — the capital of the Winter Olympic Games.
Enjoy this jubilee issue of Belarus magazine. Eighty years old is an awkward age — as we transition from the present into the future.
BY Viktor Kharkov,