[b]How can we determine which of the events is the most vital? Probably, those are most important which have sparked the public’s interest, those which haven’t been forgotten in the everyday routine and those which people are still talking about. This issue of Belarus magazine offers a selection of these events.[/b]
Political events are always a priority, since they determine internal and inter-state relationships. In this context, we must mention the recent visit of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to Kazakhstan. In the Obvious Acceleration article, our author notes that this country is a reliable ally and a strategic partner, with the two countries boasting almost $1bn of trade turnover and a range of joint projects. Moreover, production and sci-tech co-operation is also developing. In recent years, Belarusian-Kazakh relations have been developing especially dynamically in the economic sphere. Undoubtedly, the current visit of the President will give new impetus to the development of a beneficial partnership.
Meanwhile, the official visit of the Ukrainian Prime Minister to Minsk in early December also had definite resonance. During the visit, Ukrainian-Belarusian bilateral documents have been signed, in particular, the roadmap of the development of the bilateral collaboration for 2013-2015, alongside a range of other agreements and programmes. Observers and experts note that the visit had huge political and economic resonance, taking place, as it did, immediately after a draft agreement had been approved on association and establishment of the free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU.
At the same time, Ukraine is putting a lot of effort in setting up co-operation with the countries of the Customs Union. Taking part in the session of the Supreme Council of the Customs Union.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Nikolai Azarov, told us in an interview how the Ukrainian side views the compromise between the participation in two integration unions. The interview is presented in our article, entitled General Formula.
Speaking at the Republican Dazhynki-2013 Festival of Rural Workers, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, announced that the agrarian branch guarantees the country’s food security and accounts for a huge share of Belarusian exports. As is traditional, this holiday sums up the results of the grain harvesting campaign. Dazhynki is already 17 years old, and today, the major event of the festival-fair is the honouring of harvest time heroes who get the ‘Belarusian gold’, with their rough hands, mastery and self-sacrificing labour.
Sovereign Belarus, unlike other CIS states, has established a reliable foundation for the agro-industrial complex. Belarus has powerful enterprises producing tractors, vehicles, farm machines and fertilisers. These companies meet the domestic demand while actively promoting their goods on the international market. This topic is further explored in our Richness of Bread Field publication.
We can say that an efficient economy embodies carefully thought-out policies. In the context of this conclusion, the establishment of the first regional industrial park, Polesie-Lelchitsy, in the Gomel Region, promises to become a landmark event. The project was presented in May at the Gomel economic forum, and immediately caused a wave of investment interest. The idea is to develop Polesie’s deposit-rich land. And this is not just a theoretical supposition, but a concrete project, with a solid business plan.
Just what is concealed deep under the surface of Polesie? Firstly, there are fuel and energy resources, in the form of brown coal, shale and peat. There is no need to explain how these will benefit the Republic economy. Industrial reserves of brown coal in the Zhitkovichi and Petrikov districts, where the general reserves produce about 100 million cubic metres, have been thoroughly prospected.
The implementation of the conceived investment projects will undoubtedly require enormous financial investment, especially in the fuel and energy spheres. Therefore, local authorities have begun to actively work attracting investors. Our New Outlines for Polesie is dedicated to this topic.
Filming of the film, Belye Rosy-2 (White Dew-2), directed by Alexandra Butor, recently finished. The film is the sequel to a film of the same title, shot in 1983, which became a classic of the Soviet cinema. The original, based on playwright Alexey Dudarev’s play, and shot by director Igor Dobrolyubov is now honoured by cinema fans as a folk comedy. Whether the new picture, like its predecessor, will be enjoyed by spectators, we’ll find out when it appears on the big screens. Until then, we invite you to read our article, Film with Continuation, an in-depth interview with director Alexandra Butor.
By Victor Kharkov