SPAMfighter information about
 

Belarus

The data on this page is obtained from The World Factbook.
 Communications information 
SPAMfighters: 2,415
Internet users: 3,394,400 (2005)
Internet hosts: 33,641 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 23 (2002)
Internet country code: .by
Telephones - main lines in use: 3,284,300 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 4.098 million (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading telecommunications infrastructure; state-owned Beltelcom, is the sole provider of fixed line local and long distance service; modernization of the network to digital switching progressing slowly

domestic: fixed line penetration is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved; four GSM wireless networks are experiencing rapid growth; strict government controls on telecommunications technologies

international: country code - 375; Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three fiber-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations
Radio broadcast stations: AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)
Radios: 3.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 2.52 million (1997)
 Geographical information 
Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland
Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 207,600 sq km

land: 207,600 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Kansas
Land boundaries: total: 2,900 km

border countries: Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 407 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m

highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
Natural resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
Land use: arable land: 26.77%

permanent crops: 0.6%

other: 72.63% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,310 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl´ in northern Ukraine
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
 People information 
Population: 10,293,011 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.7% (male 825,823/female 791,741)

15-64 years: 69.7% (male 3,490,442/female 3,682,950)

65 years and over: 14.6% (male 498,976/female 1,003,079) (2006 est.)
Median age: total: 37.2 years

male: 34.5 years

female: 39.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.06% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 11.16 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 14.02 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.5 male(s)/female

total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.92 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.08 years

male: 63.47 years

female: 74.98 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.43 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 15,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,000 (2001 est.)
Nationality: noun: Belarusian(s)

adjective: Belarusian
Ethnic groups: Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1% (1999 census)
Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
Languages: Belarusian, Russian, other
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.6%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.5% (2003 est.)
 Governmental information 
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Belarus

conventional short form: Belarus

local long form: Respublika Byelarus´

local short form: Byelarus´

former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type: republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Capital: name: Minsk

geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts´) and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel´, Horad Minsk*, Hrodna, Mahilyow, Minsk, Vitsyebsk

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers
Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution: 15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Sergei SIDORSKIY (since 19 December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since December 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999, however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits allowing president to run in a third election held on 19 March 2006; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president

election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 82.6%, Aleksandr MILINKEVICH 6%, Aleksandr KOZULIN 2.3%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional councils and 8 members appointed by the president, all for four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected by universal adult suffrage to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 17 and 31 October 2004; international observers widely denounced the elections as flawed and undemocratic, based on massive government falsification; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat, after many opposition candidates were disqualified for technical reasons

election results: Soviet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)
Political parties and leaders: pro-government parties: Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY]; Belarusian Communist Party or KPB; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Nikolai ULAKHOVICH, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus [Sergei GAYDUKEVICH]; Party of Labor and Justice [Viktor SOKOLOV]; Social-Sports Party [Vladimir ALEXANDROVICH]

opposition parties: 10 Plus Coalition [Alyaksandr MILINKEVICH], includes: Belarusian Party of Communists or PKB [Syarhey KALYAKIN]; Belarusian Party of Labor (unregistered) [Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV, Leonid LEMESHONAK]; Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Vintsyuk VYACHORKA]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]; Green Party [Oleg GROMYKO]; Party of Freedom and Progress (unregistered) [Vladimir NOVOSYAD]; United Civic Party or UCP [Anatol LYABEDKA]; Women´s Party "Nadezhda" [Valentina MATUSEVICH, chairperson]

other opposition includes: Belarusian Social-Democratic Party Nardonaya Hromada or BSDP NH [Alyaksandr KOZULIN, chairman]; Christian Conservative BPF [Zyanon PAZNIAK]; Ecological Party of Greens [Mikhail KARTASH]; Party of Popular Accord [Sergei YERMAKK]; Republican Party [Vladimir BELAZOR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH]; Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Alyaksandr YAROSHUK]; Belarusian Helsinki Committee [Tatiana PROTKO]; Belarusian Organization of Working Women [Irina ZHIKHAR]; Charter 97 [Andrey SANNIKOV]; Lenin Communist Union of Youth (youth wing of the Belarusian Party of Communists or PKB); National Strike Committee of Entrepreneurs [Aleksandr VASILYEV, Valery LEVONEVSKY]; Partnership NGO [Nikolay ASTREYKA]; Perspektiva kiosk watchdog NGO [Anatol SHUMCHENKO]; Vyasna [Ales BYALATSKY]; Women´s Independent Democratic Movement [Ludmila PETINA]; Youth Front (Malady Front) [Dzmitryy DASHKEVICH, Syarhey BAKHUN]; Zubr youth group [Vladimir KOBETS]
International organization participation: BSEC (observer), CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mikhail KHVOSTOV

chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604

FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805

consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Karen B. STEWART

embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya St., Minsk 220002

mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723

telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83, 217-7347, 217-7348

FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
Flag description: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red
 Economical information 
Economy - overview: Belarus´s economy in 2005 posted 8% growth. The government has succeeded in lowering inflation over the past several years. Trade with Russia - by far its largest single trade partner - decreased in 2005, largely as a result of a change in the way the Value Added Tax (VAT) on trade was collected. Trade with European countries increased. Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism." In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state´s right to intervene in the management of private enterprises. During 2005, the government re-nationalized a number of private companies. In addition, businesses have been subject to pressure by central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, retroactive application of new business regulations, and arrests of "disruptive" businessmen and factory owners. A wide range of redistributive policies has helped those at the bottom of the ladder; the Gini coefficient is among the lowest in the world. Because of these restrictive economic policies, Belarus has had trouble attracting foreign investment, which remains low. Growth has been strong in recent years, despite the roadblocks in a tough, centrally directed economy with a high, but decreasing, rate of inflation. Belarus continues to receive heavily discounted oil and natural gas from Russia. Much of Belarus´ growth can be attributed to the re-export of Russian oil at market prices.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $73.09 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $26.69 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 9.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $7,100 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.3%

industry: 31.6%

services: 59.1% (2005 est.)
Labor force: 4.3 million (31 December 2005)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14%

industry: 34.7%

services: 51.3% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate: 1.6% officially registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers (2005)
Population below poverty line: 27.1% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 5.1%

highest 10%: 20% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.3% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $5.903 billion

expenditures: $6.343 billion; including capital expenditures of $180 million (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
Industries: metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators
Industrial production growth rate: 15.6% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 30 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 99.5%

hydro: 0.1%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0.4% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 34.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 800 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 7 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 36,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption: 252,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: 14,500 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - imports: 360,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production: 250 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 20.5 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Current account balance: $852 million (2005 est.)
Exports: $16.14 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners: Russia 38.5%, Ukraine 7.8%, Poland 7.1%, Latvia 4.2%, UK 4.1%, China 4.1% (2005)
Imports: $16.94 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
Imports - partners: Russia 57.9%, Germany 9.7%, Ukraine 6.4%, Poland 5.2% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.215 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $4.662 billion (30 June 2005 est.)
Currency (code): Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)
Currency code: BYB/BYR
Exchange rates: Belarusian rubles per US dollar - 2,150 (2005), 2,160.26 (2004), 2,051.27 (2003), 1,790.92 (2002), 1,390 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 Transportations information 
Airports: 86 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 41

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 12 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 45

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 35 (2006)
Heliports: 1 (2006)
Pipelines: gas 5,223 km; oil 2,321 km; refined products 1,686 km (2006)
Railways: total: 5,512 km

broad gauge: 5,497 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)

standard gauge: 15 km 1.435 m (2005)
Roadways: total: 93,055 km

paved: 93,055 km (2003)
Waterways: 2,500 km (use limited by location on perimeter of country and by shallowness) (2003)
Ports and terminals: Mazyr
 Military information 
Military branches: Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force (2006)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2005)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 2,520,644

females age 18-49: 2,564,696 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,657,984

females age 18-49: 2,102,793 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 85,202

females age 18-49: 82,037 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $420.5 million (2006)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.4% (FY02)
 Information about transnational issues 
Disputes - international: 1997 boundary treaty with Ukraine remains unratified over unresolved financial claims, preventing demarcation and diminishing border security; the whole boundary with Latvia and more than half the boundary with Lithuania remains undemarcated; discussions toward economic and political union with Russia proceed slowly
Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly regulated financial center; new anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities

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