General information: After seven decades of existence as a union republic within the USSR, Belarus gained independence in 1991. It has maintained closer political and economic ties with Russia than any other former Soviet republic. On December 8, 1999, Belarus and Russia signed an agreement on the formation of a two-state union, which implies the acceleration of political and economic integration, but at the moment1 neither party is making significant efforts to implement the provisions of the agreement. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Belarus History.
Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland.
Geographical coordinates: 53° 00′ N. latitude, 28° 00′ E
Reference map: Commonwealth of Independent States.
Area: total: 207,600 square kilometers; land surface area: 207,600 square kilometers; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Kansas.
Land borders: total: 3,098 km; with neighboring states: with Latvia 141 km, with Lithuania 502 km, with Poland 605 km, with Russia 959 km, with Ukraine 891 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: middle between continental and maritime; winters are cold, summers are cool and rainy.
Terrain: mostly plains, many wetlands.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Neman River 90 m; highest point: Mount Dzerzhinskaya 346 m.
Natural resources: timber, peat deposits, small amounts of oil and natural gas.
Land use: arable land: 29%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 15%; forests and plantations: 34%; others: 21% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,000 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: soil pollution due to the use of pesticides; radioactive fallout that fell after the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl (Northern Ukraine) in 1986 and infected the southern part of the country.
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Waste, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Pollution from ships, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea.
Note to the section “Geography”: has no access to the sea.
Population: 10,350,194 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 17.93% (male 947,820; female 908,210); 15 to 64 years old: 68.21% (male 3,428,920; female 3,631,290); over 65: 13.86% (male 473,992; female 959,962) (2001 est.).
Population growth: -0.15% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 9.57 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 13.97 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 2.89 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.94 male/female; over 65: 0.49 male/female; for the general population: 0.88 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 14.38 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 68.14 years; men: 62.06 years; women: 74.52 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.28 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.28% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 14,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 400 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Belarusian; adjective: Belarusian.
Ethnic groups: Belarusians 81.2%, Russians 11.4%, Poles, Ukrainians, others 7.4%.
Believers: Orthodox 80%, other (including Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims) 20% (1997 est.).
Languages): Belarusian, Russian, others.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 98%; men: 99%; women: 97% (1989 est.). State Name:
Common long form: Republic of Belarus;
Common short form: Belarus; local long form: Respublika Byelarus’; local short form: no; former: Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic
State structure: republic.
Administrative division: 6 regions and one city*: Brest (Brest), Vitebsk (Vitebsk), Gomel (Gomel), Grodno (Grodno), Minsk*, Minsk, Mogilev (Mogilev); note: in parentheses are the names of the administrative centers of the regions.
Independence: from August 25, 1991 (until 1991 – as part of the Soviet Union).
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note – celebrated in honor of the liberation of Minsk from the German invaders.
Constitution: adopted March 30, 1994; revised by national referendum on November 24, 1996 to give the president greater powers and entered into force on November 27, 1996.
Legal system: based on the civil law system.
Suffrage: from 18 pet; universal.
head of state: President Alexander LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994);
head of the government: Prime Minister Vladimir YERMOSHIN (since February 18, 2000); First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey KOBYAKOV (since March 13, 2000); Deputy Prime Ministers Mikhail DEMCHUK (since July 14, 2000), Mikhail KHORSTOV (since November 27, 2000), Valeriy KOKO-REV (since August 23, 1994), Gennady NOVITSKIY (since February 11, 1997), Leonid KOZIK (since February 4, 1997), Alexander POPKOV (Aleksandr POPKOV) (since November 10, 1998);
Government: Council of Ministers; elections: the president is directly elected for a five-year term; the last elections were held on June 24 and July 10, 1994 (according to the 1994 Constitution, the next elections were to be held in 1999, but LUKASHENKO, referring to the referendum held in November 1996, extended his term of office until 2001. ); the prime minister and deputy prime ministers are appointed by the president; election results: Alexander LUKASHENKO elected president; percentage of votes – Alexander LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH (Vya-cheslav KEBICH) 15%.
Legislature: bicameral National Assembly, consisting of the Council of the Republic (64 seats) and the House of Representatives (110 seats); elections: elections were last held in October 2000 (the date of the next elections is not known); election results: there is no information about the distribution of seats between parties; in the present political conditions, party affiliation does not matter.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president; The Constitutional Court, half of whose members are appointed by the president and half by the House of Representatives.
Political parties and leaders: Agrarian Party (Semyon SHARETSKY, chairman); Communist Party of Belarus (Viktor CHIKIN, chairman); Belarusian Ecological Green Party (leader – no data); Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) (Anatoly BARANKEVICH, chairman); Belarusian Popular Front (Vintsuk VYA-CHORKA, chairman); Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Nikolay STATKEVICH, chairman); Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hromada” (Stanislav SHUSHKE-VICH, chairman); Belarusian Socialist Party (Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV [Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV]); Civil Accord Bloc (United Civil Party) (Stanislav BOGDANKEVICH, Chairman); Liberal Democratic Party (Sergei GAYDUKEVICH, chairman); Party of Communists of Belarus (Sergei KALYAKIN, chairman); Republican Party of Labor and Justice (Anatoliy NETYL-KIN, chairman); Social Democratic Party of People’s Accord (Leonid SECHKA [Leanid SECHKA]); Women’s Party “Hope” (Valentina POLEVIKO-VA, chairman).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ССС, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Valery TSEPAKLO (Valery TSEPAKLO); office: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009; phone:  (202) 986-1604; fax:  (202) 986-1805; consulates general: New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Michael KO-ZAK; embassy: Starovilenskaya #46-220002, Minsk; postal address: use the address of the embassy; phone:  (17) 210-1283; fax:  (17) 234-7853.
Description of the flag: a red horizontal stripe (top) and a green horizontal stripe half the width of the red stripe; on the side adjacent to the staff there is a white vertical strip with a national Belarusian ornament in red applied to it.