Year of Belarusian books presented in Moscow

The Belarusian stand was situated at the centre of the huge exhibition pavilion at the 25th Moscow International Book Fair, displaying editions already displayed in India and China
By Fiodor Nikonorov

There are plans to showcase them at an upcoming fair in Germany but this particular event in the Russian capital had special importance. Belarus’ First Deputy Information Minister, Lilia Ananich, presented the national booth at the Moscow International Book Fair, noting that 2012 is seeing national book printing in Belarus receive significant state support, in keeping with it being the Year of Book. Annually, notable funds are being allocated from the country’s budget for book publishing purposes, with school textbooks printed free of charge, alongside socially important literature. Over the first six months of 2012, around 5,000 titles were released in the Republic with a total circulation of 18m.

Belarusian book publishers brought various interesting projects to the Moscow event, with several business meetings arranged. Ms. Ananich stresses, “We expect contracts to be signed promoting our books in Russia. We already have definite agreements that Belarusian books will be launched in Moscow shops.”

Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the Russian State Duma, was an honorary guest at the Belarusian national stand. Showing him a few Belarusian editions, Ms. Ananich noted that the advent of the common Eurasian Economic Space will see a single support system of book publishing established and hopes that the Union State will financially support the libraries of Belarus and Russia in holding editions published in both states.

Mr. Naryshkin surveyed the Belarusian stand with true interest and was presented with two unique editions: a book dedicated to Polotsk’s 1150th anniversary and one detailing Belarus’ contemporary heraldry. That honouring Polotsk’s 1150th jubilee was given pride of place.

A contest is planned for young writers from Belarus and Russia, with the best submissions released in a collection using Russian and Belarusian. Meanwhile, the Belarusian Information Ministry and Rospechat (the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications within the Russian Federation) aim to launch four major publishing projects to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. A third, extended edition of the bibliographic reference book Famous Belarusians in Russia. Famous Russians in Belarus is also planned.

During the Moscow Book Trade Fair, a round table discussion took place entitled Book Publishing in the Context of Preserving and Developing the Common Cultural and Historical Space of Belarus and Russia.
Russia will be an honorary guest at the 20th Minsk International Book Fair next February.
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