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Visual acquaintance more useful than correspondence

Three-day visit to Belarus by Lithuania media ends in Ostrovets District
The Ostrovets District was selected for obvious reasons, being the northernmost point of the Grodno Region, while bordering Lithuania in the north and west. Meanwhile, it has a unique Lithuanian diaspora. Naturally, the journalists were interested in the ‘Lithuanian’ theme foremost. Among them were members of the First Baltic Channel, the Lithuanian Courier weekly, Baltios TV, and the BNS and ELTA news agencies.

The guests visited the unique Lithuanian Centre of Education, Culture and Information, in the agro-town of Rimdyuny, which boasts two schools under one roof: teaching via the medium of Lithuanian and Belarusian, with a Lithuanian kindergarten. The folk group Zilvitis entertained the press, showing their creativity, distinctive traditions, old songs and dances, each carefully passed from generation to generation. For over 30 years, they’ve preserved our national cultural heritage. 

The Lithuanian journalists were impressed to see that their countrymen haven’t forgotten their native language — used for the service at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, in the agro-town of Gervyaty (alongside Polish and Belorusian). A concert of organ music was then given in a magnificent arboretum surrounding the church, following a short report on local history, given by priest Leonid Nestyuk.

The other topic which most caught the attention of the Lithuanian media was the construction of a nuclear power plant in this area. During a discussion on prospects for partnership with neighbouring countries in various spheres, the Chairman of the Ostrovets District Executive Committee, Adam Kovalko, noted that the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has noticeably stirred interest among Lithuanian investors in the region. A car wash and service stations have been suggested, alongside the production of fuel briquettes, small retail sites and catering points. “We’re working with four investors from Lithuania, while a fifth is still negotiating with us,” Mr. Kovalko explains.

To allow the media delegation to learn as much as possible, they were invited to view the site of the future power plant and were then able to interview representatives from Rosatom, from the Board of Directors for the construction of the nuclear power station, from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
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