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Belarus

Belarus became an independent republic on August 25, 1991, after the breakup of the Soviet Union.  In November 1996, a constitutional referendum, not recognized by the international community, centralized power in the executive branch (president), headed by Aleksandr Lukashenka.   Economic and political reform in Belarus has stalled or is being reversed under his authoritarian government.  The Belarusian Government’s human rights record remains very poor.  President Lukashenka gained a third five-year term as president in March 2006, in an election that international observers judged to be seriously flawed.  Democratic nations, including the U.S. and EU, condemned the subsequent governmental crackdown on peaceful protests in Minsk , and imposed visa restrictions and other sanctions on senior officials.  Both Belarusian and Russian are official languages, and Russian is widely spoken throughout the country, particularly in the cities.  Tourist facilities are not highly developed, but food and lodging in the capital and some regional centers are adequate.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Belarus for additional information.

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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Belarus
Continent: Europe
Capital City: Minsk
Boundary Countries:

Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Minsk, Brest, Polatsk, Orsha, Mazyr, Pinsk, Hrodna

Country Size: 207,600 sq km
Population: 9,724,723

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Belarusian, Russian, other

Currency: Belarusian Ruble (BYB/BYR)
Predominant Religions:

Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20%

National Holidays: 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
Economic Status:

Belarus's economy in 2006 posted more than 8% growth. Trade with Russia - by far its largest single trade partner - decreased in 2006, largely as a result of a change in the way the Value Added Tax (VAT) on trade was collected. Trade with European countries increased.

Security:

Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Minsk
46 Starovilenskaya St.
Minsk 220002, Belarus
Phone: +375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348

Fax: +375 17 234-78-53

Document Requirements:

Due to the lengthy information the US Dept. of State gives regarding the documentation requirements specific to Belarus, we recommend that you review the complete information on the Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1033.html.

Major Airports:

Airports:  86,  Airports with paved runways:  41

Minsk Airport, Belarus, 220054 Minsk, BELARUS
Tel: +375 17 279-14-36, +375 17 279-17-84, (Cargo Handling) +375 17 279-17-04, +375 17 279-10-69, (Operating Company) +375 17 279-18-44, +375 17 279-14-61
Fax: +375 17 279-17-68, +375 17 279-14-36, +375 17 279-10-69, +375 17 279-10-62
Email: info@airport.by
Website: www.airport.by
Customs Tel: +375 17 279-10-37
Fax: +375 17 279-16-39
Customs Hours:24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Both organized and spontaneous demonstrations occur in Belarus. Localized street disturbances relating to political events occur most frequently in Minsk or larger cities. In some instances, authorities may use force to disperse protesters; bystanders, including foreign nationals, may face the possibility of arrest, beating, or detention. Belarus has a moderate incidence of street crime. Though violent crime against foreigners is rare, criminals have been known to use force if met with resistance from victims.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  6.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 70.05 years (male 64.31/female 76.14)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: DPT, MMR

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system occurs in the southern part of the nontropical forest belt in Europe and Asia (to Pacific Ocean). Vaccine for this disease is not available in the United States at this time. A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region.
Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or in immigrants from the region) include tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C (especially in Romania).

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care in Belarus is limited. There is a severe shortage of basic medical supplies, including anesthetics, vaccines and antibiotics.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 16
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Tuberculosis (TB) is an increasingly serious health concern in Belarus.  For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB. Recent outbreaks of diphtheria in the former Soviet Union countries.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +375
Internet Country Code:  .by

 



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