As ever, let’s look at facts. This approach will prevent us from doubting the truth of the past, reflecting reality, to form a generalised image of the country. It will show the economic and social direction of our society, revealing how a contemporary portrait is being shaped. Our New Views From Pamir describes a new stage in the bilateral relationship of Minsk and Dushanbe, exploring Belarus’ steady implementation of foreign political priorities in Central Asia. After visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the President of Belarus has visited another important country in the region — Tajikistan. Alexander Lukashenko and Emomali Rahmon signed a treaty on long-term co-operation between Belarus and Tajikistan for 2011-2020: telling us that it will be a ‘road map’ for our relationship.
Our New Views From Pamir describes a new stage in the bilateral relationship of Minsk and Dushanbe, exploring Belarus’ steady implementation of foreign political priorities in Central Asia. After visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the President of Belarus has visited another important country in the region — Tajikistan. Alexander Lukashenko and Emomali Rahmon signed a treaty on long-term co-operation between Belarus and Tajikistan for 2011-2020: telling us that it will be a ‘road map’ for our relationship.
Mutually beneficial, or pragmatic, relations play a decisive role in politics. Three recent articles in Moscow’s Izvestiya explored further integration of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. First, Vladimir Putin wrote his views on the next stage of collaboration: the launch of the Eurasian Union. Mr. Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev supported him, focusing on the conditions required for strengthening the interaction of Belarus and Kazakhstan respectively. They stressed that resource rich Russia’s desire to integrate must take into account national interests of the other members of the Eurasian Union. Three in One is dedicated to the proposals submitted by Moscow, Minsk and Astana.
Another important event has recently occurred in the Belarusian economy — the shift to a single Belarusian rouble exchange rate. This complicated but necessary step has been approved by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Eurasian Development Bank. However, they stress that, having moved to a market exchange rate mechanism, some steps are needed to stabilise the economic situation and achieve balanced development. These assessments coincide with those of the Government and the National Bank, as is clearly seen from Important Steps Forward.
Vegetables will soon join milk and meat as major Belarusian agro-exports. By 2015, Belarus will be selling at least 90,000 cabbages, carrots, onions, tomatoes and other such products abroad annually — as outlined by a state programme. Even better results may be possible, with harvests raised and costs lowered, enabling Belarusian agrarians to sell at least half a million tonnes of vegetables abroad. Profit in Wider Sense explores this topic.
Zhores Alferov, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, made the news at a recent international scientific and practical conference in Minsk, describing scientific collaboration between Belarus and Russia and the fate of the post-Soviet space. The outstanding Russian of Belarusian origin answered journalists’ questions candidly, as we see in We Should Work Together.
It may only be autumn but the breath of winter is almost upon us. Icy weather is around the corner, with the last autumn leaf ready to fall — helplessly or joyfully marking the fact that winter has arrived. The season brings many folk traditions and customs, as we muse in our Under a Snowy Veil article.
Sharing of professional and life experience is always vital — even in the delicate sphere of art. People’s Artist of Belarus Leonid Shchemelev believes that there are many ways to share creativity, having enjoyed dozens of personal exhibitions at home and abroad. He has taken part in top international artistic forums and his works are displayed in museums and galleries across the globe, as well as in private collections in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, the USA, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Iran and Israel. Leonid Shchemelev: Teaching Good tells us more about Mr. Shchemelev. He has guided the development of Belarusian pictorial culture, influencing our modern Belarusian painters in so many ways. Our conversation at his studio reveals his innermost thoughts.
Our current issue, as always, focuses on life’s rich palette.
BY VIKTOR KHARKOV,