Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, is in trouble: The EU criticises him for violating human rights and freedom of expression. And Russia is said to want to annex the small country. So he is looking for supporters – and has found them in China.
Investors from the Far East are to build a small town near the capital Minsk, with Sichuan-style architecture, bilingual street signs and the „Beijing Alley” as the main street. A corresponding agreement with the city of Chongqing was recently signed. It alone has three times as many inhabitants as all of Belarus. The employees of Chinese investors will probably live in small China near Minsk.
Lukashenko had an 11,000 hectare special economic zone established. Companies such as Huawei do not have to pay taxes there for ten years. The ruler hopes that “high-tech companies” will be lured into his country. Chinese banks would also provide Lukashenko with loans amounting to around nine billion dollars.
Belarus already has eight billion in debt in China, which is about 13 percent of the gross domestic product. As a sign of the unbreakable friendship between Belarus and China, a small Belarusian town will be built in Chongqing. The Minsk City Hall and the famous Nyasvish Castle will be rebuilt. You can see the original on our exciting journey around Minsk.
(Source: SPIEGEL 33/19)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed Decree No. 300 “On the introduction of visa-free entry and exit procedures for foreign nationals”.
Previously, there were two separate visa-free zones for the areas around Brest and Grodno, which have now been merged into the visa-free area “Brest – Grodno”. It includes five other districts of the Grodno region.
For citizens from 73 countries, the duration of the visa-free stay for tourist purposes increases to 15 days in this region.
At the same time, visa-free entry to Belarus is allowed for up to 30 days via the border checkpoint at the national airport in Minsk (according to the decree № 8 of 9 January 2017 with amendments coming into force on 24 July 2018).
Detailed information on visa-free travel to Belarus and other travel details can be found here.
On August 24 the 5th Festival of Georgian Culture “Tbilisoba” takes place in Minsk.
This year “Tbilisioba” will be held under the motto “Georgian-Belarusian Friendship” and both Georgian and Belarusian groups will perform.
Guests will be offered Georgian specialties such as shashlik, khinkali, and harcho, as well as performances by famous Georgian and Belarusian artists.
The first festival “Tbilisoba” took place five years ago and the Minsk people liked it so much that it was followed by a series of days of other national cultures. But the Georgian festival is still the most popular among the inhabitants and tourists of the city: last year the festival was attended by about 80,000 people. The Georgian festival was the first cultural festival at which the Minsk authorities allowed the festival to continue until midnight.
The fifth edition of “Tbilisoba” will again take place in the Upper City, the various stands with folk art and specialities of Georgian cuisine will extend as far as River Svisloch.
The Upper City is the historic city centre. Now the square of the Upper City is called Liberty Square. As a few centuries ago, many cultural events are held on Liberty Square today. You can learn more about the history and culture of our city and surroundings on our Minsk city tour.
Started in 1992 and held annually ever since, the International Festival of Arts “ Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” has become a significant cultural event that attracts the attention of many popular singers and performers, actors, filmmakers, artists around the world. Vitebsk Festival includes a wide range of bright holidays and events where you will get into the carnival extravaganza and contest excitement, feel the purity and sincerity of children’s creative work, enjoy classical music and ballet, plunge into the world of theatre and cinema, and relish the calm atmosphere of museums and exhibition halls.
Thanks to the festival, Belarus has had a chance to see many foreign singers, performers, composers and bands. The town of Vitebsk has become the meeting place for world famous performers and artists.
The program of the Festival highlights such events as Young Singers’ International Song Contest; Children’s International Music Festival; “Theatre meetings” Program; Festival Exhibitions; Gala concerts and Shows Program.
This year the festival starts on 12 July and ends on 16 July. Additional events will take place three days before the inauguration and two days after the closing ceremony.
The programme of the International Art Festival 2018 in Vitebsk can be found on their official website.
The main venue of the festival, the Amphitheatre, was constructed especially for such occasion in 1988, and seats about five thousand spectators.
So if you decide to travel to Vitebsk for sure you won`t be disappointed… During the festival the whole city lives in the rhythm of infinite fun and good mood. Vitebsk blooms and gives its guest the most interesting and unforgettable moments.
The Belorussian Tank Biathlon kicked off at the Stalin Line range, Loshany village, near Minsk on Saturday. Hundreds of people came to watch the T-72B tanks hit the targets and overcame the distances, destroying old Zhiguli cars and other obstacles on their way. Stalin Line Tank Biathlon is held for the third year with the support of the Belarus Ministry of Defence.
On 28 September – 01 October the first meeting of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences took place in Minsk.
The meeting was attended by Presidents of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conferences from 45 countries of the world.
The meeting was dedicated to the problems of today’s youth and the challenges facing Europe today. These were the central themes of the meeting. On the last day of the conference a summary document was adopted which will be taken into account in the preparation of the Synod of Bishops for Youth in August 2018.
Catholic Hierarchs not only discussed current issues, but also got to know the country and the faithful, visited parishes and held worship services.
It is a great event and honour for Belarus to receive the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.
On 14 April 2017 at 17.00 an international exhibition project “Field of Flowers” will be opened at the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
The name of this project is the poem of the same name by the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz “Campo di Fiori” (“Field of Flowers”), which was written in Warsaw during the uprising in the Jewish ghetto in 1943.
The project does not only lead to the commemoration of the Holocaust. Works by artists are presented at different times and in different media. They are dedicated to the following themes: Questions of nationality, Jewish everyday life, tolerance in the modern world, remembrance.
This is good news. Since March 2017, the visa requirement for short trips of up to 5 days has been lifted. Citizens from 80 countries, including all EU countries and America, can now visit Belarus without a visa. The visa requirement for Israeli citizens was lifted as early as 2015.
Visa-free entry must take place via the border checkpoint at Minsk National Airport, where the following must be available:
1) A valid passport valid for at least three months from the date of departure from Belarus (ID cards will not be accepted);
2) Means of payment: foreign or national currency equivalent to at least 23 euros.
3) a policy of your travel health insurance valid in Belarus with a sum insured of at least 10,000 Euro.
You can find more information hier, please do not hesitate to contact us.
On 1 July 2016, the Belarusian ruble was denominated, 10 000 rubles turned into 1 ruble.