Starting points

Belarus has many good traditions, such as respecting elders, knowledge of history and pride in modern innovation. On 3rd July, the whole country honours these via its Independence Day. Though created at the junction of the turn of the century, it is loaded with symbolism as nothing else. Independence and Sovereignty are sacred concepts for the state, honoured and respected. We are rightly proud of our rich history, formed over a thousand years ago in Polotsk. Natives of our land were known throughout Europe and, even, across the world.
Belarus has many good traditions, such as respecting elders, knowledge of history and pride in modern innovation. On 3rd July, the whole country honours these via its Independence Day. Though created at the junction of the turn of the century, it is loaded with symbolism as nothing else. Independence and Sovereignty are sacred concepts for the state, honoured and respected. We are rightly proud of our rich history, formed over a thousand years ago in Polotsk. Natives of our land were known throughout Europe and, even, across the world.
Unsurprisingly, the holiday marks the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis in World War II. This heroic victory over the brown Nazi plague saw unparalleled self-sacrifice. Even in today’s Belarus, most families preserve the memory of lost loved ones from those days; so many failed to return home from battle. The living embodiments of the holiday are grey-haired veterans, in the symbolic military parade of war victors, and young soldiers, wielding the latest combat equipment. Independence Day also traditionally features dazzling fireworks. In fact, every one of us has our part to play in celebrating the annual day of remembrance: students, teachers, factory workers and farmers. Anyone who values their Motherland is worthy.
It’s impossible not to draw attention to the country’s political life, despite the imprint of summer. The date for elections to the House of Representatives has been set (see Right to Choose). The election campaign will end in early autumn, so we should expect a politically active summer.
The recent visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Latin America is another important political event. Touring Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador back to back, the President enjoyed a busy schedule. The most obvious economic results of Belarusian aspirations in the region are evident in Venezuela. Over a remarkably short period of time, experts from Belarus have created entire industries and have built residential districts. New ambitious projects are planned, with the models to be replicated in other countries across the region. Offers have been made to potential partners, as you can read in Foothold in Continent of Opportunities.
What else does our magazine hold for you, dear readers? Unlimited Business details the Gomel Economic Forum-2012: the most ambitious to date, with over 400 business representatives from 30 countries taking part. Unlimited Business focuses on foreign business interest in specific regions of Belarus.
Village Expertise tells eloquently of hundreds of companies (from two dozen countries) showing their agro-achievements, at Minsk’s international Belagro fair — held for several years already.
Franco Milasi, who heads the Italy-Belarus Association, has been helping our two nations liaise for many years and is a frequent guest in Belarus. He declares: ‘I’d like people to speak of Belarus in the superlative’. We make these words the title of our interview, which explores many interesting aspects of Mr. Milasi’s work.

BY Viktor Kharkov,
magazine editor
Беларусь. Belarus
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