Over course of time

[b]Our rich history is evident in the recent celebration of the 1150th anniversary of the ancient city of Polotsk.[/b]Polotsk is a symbol of our national heritage, of which we should be proud. As many guests as possible are to be attracted to this geographical centre of Europe (as proven by the juxtaposition of the co-ordinates of the extreme continental points of the North, South, East and West). It is a tourist pearl which we should allow to shine in all its colours.
Our rich history is evident in the recent celebration of the 1150th anniversary of the ancient city of Polotsk.
Polotsk is a symbol of our national heritage, of which we should be proud. As many guests as possible are to be attracted to this geographical centre of Europe (as proven by the juxtaposition of the co-ordinates of the extreme continental points of the North, South, East and West). It is a tourist pearl which we should allow to shine in all its colours.
The anniversary of ancient Polotsk shows that Belarus isn’t the backyard of Europe; it is a Eurasian gateway. It is central to the implementation of our ‘integration of integrations’ idea. The union of the potential of the European and Eurasian unions will enable us to create absolutely new opportunities for dynamic development and all-round collaboration between the nations of the continent. Our state’s major role as a connecting link is being promoted, with its geopolitical importance accented, as explored in Festive Polotsk Welcomes Guests.
Eternity dictates that today’s events are tomorrow’s history; however, only those events which claim special importance will occupy a worthy place. Undoubtedly, meetings between Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin will be among them — at least, it seems so today. Mr. Putin’s first official visit has been paid to Minsk, with definite symbolic significance. The Russian President is demonstrating that Moscow places Belarus high on its political agenda. The concluding document of the meeting was a joint statement by the presidents of Belarus and Russia, noting the strategic character of relations between our two countries in all spheres, proving their eagerness to further develop the Union State.
The statement also mentions the desire to unify economic conditions within the Union State and the Single Economic Space. The presidents are committed to a high level of interaction regarding the construction of a nuclear power station in Belarus — with enhanced security. This proves their readiness to ensure efficient liaisons, promoting global nuclear security. Our two states have time and again proven their readiness to ensure close co-ordination in protecting and promoting common interests within the international arena. Moreover, they are keen to promote OSCE reform, returning the organisation to its role as a forum for open political dialogue in Europe, on equal terms. As It Must Be
is dedicated to this topic.
According to one of our authors, the Single Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia has reached its ‘estimated capacity’. From an initial idea, it became a project and, now, is a geo-economic reality. The operative union of our three former Soviet republics (boasting 170m people and $2 trillion of GDP) is the first such (since the collapse of the USSR) in Eurasia, spanning the space between the European Union and China.
While the EU’s integration has taken decades, the Single Economic Space is forming much more rapidly, with businessmen oriented towards the Russian market being the first to feel the benefits. Positive trends have become apparent countrywide. Over the first three months of this year, trade between our three states has increased by almost 20 percent, improving the standard of living for ordinary citizens — as was always the major intention. The results are reported upon in Troika Moving Forward.
Journalists are among those constantly analysing the situation. Minsk recently hosted the 7th Belarusian International Media Forum, held under the slogan ‘Partnership for the Sake of the Future: Models of a New Era’. Each year, the latest topics are chosen for discussion, with professional experts taking part: political analysts, scientists, sociologists and politicians — alongside journalists. This year’s plenary session tackled prospects for the development for Eurasian integration. The major conclusion was that the post-Soviet space can resist globalisation only by uniting efforts and simultaneously taking into account national interests.
Let’s look again at the course of history, remembering that Belarus, alongside the whole Slavonic people and millions all over the globe, is celebrating Polotsk’s 1150th anniversary. Accordingly, this issue of our magazine has another text dedicated to this ancient city — Ancient City Sights.
Belarusian painter Mikhail Rogalevich’s works reflect historical events, juxta-positioned against everyday routine. His canvases reveal his own impressions of life, brightly and figuratively; no doubt, he’ll be remembered for his original creativity. Pathetic Image of Blossoming Apple Tree is devoted to his achievements.
I hope that you’ll also find much more of interest in our magazine.

BY Viktor Kharkov,
magazine editor
Беларусь. Belarus
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