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Europe :: Belarus
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  • Introduction :: BELARUS

  • After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than have any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first and only directly elected president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means and a centralized economic system. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place. The situation was further aggravated after security services cracked down on protests challenging election results in the capital Minsk immediately following the December 2010 presidential election.
  • Geography :: BELARUS

  • Eastern Europe, east of Poland
    53 00 N, 28 00 E
    total: 207,600 sq km
    land: 202,900 sq km
    water: 4,700 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 86
    slightly smaller than Kansas
    total: 3,642 km
    border countries (5): Latvia 161 km, Lithuania 640 km, Poland 418 km, Russia 1,312 km, Ukraine 1,111 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
    generally flat with much marshland
    lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
    highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
    timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
    agricultural land: 43.7%
    arable land 27.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 15.9%
    forest: 42.7%
    other: 13.6% (2011 est.)
    1,150 sq km (2003)
    58 cu km (2011)
    total: 4.34 cu km/yr (32%/65%/3%)
    per capita: 435.4 cu m/yr (2009)
    soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
  • People and Society :: BELARUS

  • noun: Belarusian(s)
    adjective: Belarusian
    Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)
    Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)
    Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
    9,589,689 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    0-14 years: 15.51% (male 765,070/female 722,540)
    15-24 years: 11.12% (male 548,487/female 517,840)
    25-54 years: 45.3% (male 2,132,051/female 2,212,223)
    55-64 years: 13.62% (male 575,816/female 730,432)
    65 years and over: 14.44% (male 439,257/female 945,973) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 41.5%
    youth dependency ratio: 22%
    elderly dependency ratio: 19.6%
    potential support ratio: 5.1% (2014 est.)
    total: 39.4 years
    male: 36.3 years
    female: 42.4 years (2014 est.)
    -0.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    10.7 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    13.36 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    urban population: 76.7% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    MINSK (capital) 1.905 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 3.62 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.04 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    total population: 72.48 years
    male: 66.91 years
    female: 78.38 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    1.47 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    63.1% (2012)
    6.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    3.93 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    11.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 99.8% of population
    rural: 99% of population
    total: 99.6% of population
    urban: 0.2% of population
    rural: 1% of population
    total: 0.4% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 94% of population
    rural: 95.3% of population
    total: 94.3% of population
    urban: 6% of population
    rural: 4.7% of population
    total: 5.7% of population (2012 est.)
    0.49% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    25,200 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    1,000 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    25.2% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    1.3% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    5.1% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.7%
    male: 99.8%
    female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
    total: 16 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2013)
    total number: 54,218
    percentage: 5% (2005 est.)
    total: 12.6%
    male: 12.4%
    female: 12.6% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
  • Government :: BELARUS

  • conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
    conventional short form: Belarus
    local long form: Respublika Byelarus'/Respublika Belarus'
    local short form: Byelarus'/Belarus'
    former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
    note: the name is a compound of the Belarusian words "bel" (white) and "Rus" (the Old East Slavic ethnic designation) to form the meaning White Rusian or White Ruthenian
    republic in name, although in fact an authoritarian system centered on the executive
    name: Minsk
    geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel' (Gomel), Horad Minsk* (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)
    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers; Russian spelling provided for reference when different from Belarusian
    25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    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
    several previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994; amended 1996, 2004 (2015)
    civil law system; note - nearly all major codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, family, and labor) have been revised and came into force in 1999 or 2000
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: president Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994); note - the US does not recognize the results of the 19 December 2010 elections under which the Central Election Commission of Belarus declared LUKASHENKO president
    head of government: prime minister Andrey KABYAKOW (since 27 December 2014); first deputy prime minister Vasily MATYUSHEVSKIY (since 27 December 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place on 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 on 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run in a third (19 March 2006) and fourth election (19 December 2010); next election to be held 11 October 2015; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
    election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 79.7%, Andrey SANNIKOV 2.6%, other candidates 17.7%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
    description: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobraniye consists of the Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members indirectly elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president; members serve 4-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 4-year terms); note - the US does not recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly
    elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held on 23 September 2012 (next to be held September 2016); OSCE observers determined that the election was neither free nor impartial and that vote counting was problematic in a number of polling stations; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat with no opposition representation in the chamber; international observers determined that the previous election, on 28 September 2008, despite minor improvements also fell short of democratic standards, with pro-LUKASHENKO candidates winning every seat
    election results: Sovet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KPB 3, AP 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1, no affiliation 105
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, deputy chairman, and NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 judges including a chairman and deputy chairman)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Council of the Republic; judges initially appointed for 5 years and evaluated for life appointment; Constitutional Court judges - 6 appointed by the president and 6 elected by the Chamber of Representatives; judges can serve for 11 years with an age limit of 70
    subordinate courts: provincial (including Minsk city) courts; first instance (district) courts; economic courts; military courts
    pro-government parties:
    Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail RUS]
    Belarusian Patriotic Party [Nikolay ULAKHOVICH]
    Belarusian Socialist Sporting Party [Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH]
    Belaya Rus [Aleksandr RADKOV]
    Communist Party of Belarus or KPB [Igor KARPENKO]
    Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]
    Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANIY]
    opposition parties:
    Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Pavel SEVERINETS] (unregistered)
    Belarusian Labor Party [Aleksandr BUCHVOSTOV] (unregistered)
    Belarusian Liberal Party of Freedom and Progress [Vladimir NOVOSYAD] (unregistered)
    Belarusian Party of the Green [Oleg NOVIKOV]
    Belarusian Party of the Left "Fair World" [Sergey KALYAKIN]
    Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Aleksey YANUKEVICH]
    Belarusian Social-Democratic Assembly [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]
    Belarusian Social Democratic Party ("Assembly") or BSDPH [Irina VESHTARD]
    Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) [Nikolay STATKEVICH] (unregistered)
    Christian Conservative Party or BPF [Zyanon PAZNIAK]
    United Civic Party or UCP [Anatoliy LEBEDKO]
    Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH] (unregistered)
    Belarusian Association of Journalists [Zhanna LITVINA]
    Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK]
    Belarusian Helsinki Committee [Aleh HULAK]
    Malady Front (Young Front) [Zmitser DASHKEVICH] (unregistered)
    Vyasna (Spring) human rights center [Ales BELYATSKIY] (unregistered)
    Perspektiva small business association [Anatol SHUMCHENKO]
    "Tell the Truth" Movement [Vladimir NEKLYAYEV] (unregistered)
    Women's Independent Democratic Movement [Ludmila PETINA]
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; recalled by Belarus in 2008); Charge d'Affaires Pavel SHIDLOVSKY (since 23 April 2014)
    chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-1606
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; left in 2008 upon insistence of Belarusian Government); Charge d'Affaires Scott RAULAND (since 30 June 2014)
    embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
    mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723
    telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83
    FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
    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; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country
    no clearly defined current national symbol, the mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser) is the traditional Belarusian symbol; national colors: green, red, white
    name: "My, Bielarusy" (We Belarusians)
    lyrics/music: Mikhas KLIMKOVICH and Uladzimir KARYZNA/Nester SAKALOUSKI
    note: music adopted 1955, lyrics adopted 2002; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Belarus kept the music of its Soviet-era anthem but adopted new lyrics; also known as "Dziarzauny himn Respubliki Bielarus" (State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)
  • Economy :: BELARUS

  • As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed, though aging industrial base; it retained this industrial base - which is now outdated, energy inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets - following the breakup of the USSR. The country also has a broad agricultural base which is largely inefficient and dependent on government subsidies. After an initial burst of capitalist reform from 1991-94, including privatization of smaller state enterprises and some service sector businesses, creation of institutions of private property, and development of entrepreneurship, Belarus' economic development greatly slowed. About 80% of all industry remains in state hands, and foreign investment has been hindered by a climate hostile to business. A few banks, which had been privatized after independence, were renationalized. State banks account for 75% of the banking sector. Economic output, which had declined for several years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, revived in the mid-2000s thanks to the boom in oil prices. Belarus has only small reserves of crude oil, though it imports most of its crude oil and natural gas from Russia at prices substantially below the world market. Belarus exported refined oil products at market prices produced from Russian crude oil purchased at a steep discount. In late 2006, Russia began a process of rolling back its subsidies on oil and gas to Belarus. Tensions over Russian energy reached a peak in 2010, when Russia stopped the export of all subsidized oil to Belarus save for domestic needs. In December 2010, Russia and Belarus reached a deal to restart the export of discounted oil to Belarus. In 2015, Belarus continued to import Russian crude oil at a discounted price. However, the plunge in global oil prices heavily reduced revenues. Little new foreign investment has occurred in recent years. In 2011, a financial crisis began, triggered by government directed salary hikes unsupported by commensurate productivity increases. The crisis was compounded by an increased cost in Russian energy inputs and an overvalued Belarusian ruble, and eventually led to a near three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble in 2011. In November 2011, Belarus agreed to sell to Russia its remaining shares in Beltransgaz, the Belarusian natural gas pipeline operator, in exchange for reduced prices for Russian natural gas. Receiving more than half of a $3 billion loan from the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) Bail-out Fund, a $1 billion loan from the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, and the $2.5 billion sale of Beltranzgas to Russian state-owned Gazprom helped stabilize the situation in 2012; nevertheless, the Belarusian currency lost more than 60% of its value, as the rate of inflation reached new highs in 2011 and 2012, before calming in 2013. As of January 2014, the final tranche of the EurAsEC loan has been delayed. In December 2013, Russia announced a new loan for Belarus of up to $2 billion for 2014. Notwithstanding foreign assistance, the Belarusian economy continued to struggle under the weight of high external debt servicing payments and trade deficit. In mid-December 2014, structural economic shortcomings were aggravated by the devaluation of the Russian ruble and triggered a near 40% devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. Belarus entered 2015 with stagnant economic growth and reduced hard currency reserves, with under one month of import cover.
    $172.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $169.6 billion (2013 est.)
    $168.1 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $75.25 billion (2014 est.)
    1.6% (2014 est.)
    0.9% (2013 est.)
    1.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    $18,200 (2014 est.)
    $17,900 (2013 est.)
    $17,800 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 87
    29.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    27.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
    31.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    household consumption: 50.9%
    government consumption: 15.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 33.8%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 57.4%
    imports of goods and services: -57.9%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 7.3%
    industry: 37%
    services: 55.7% (2014 est.)
    grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
    metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators
    1.9% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    4.546 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    agriculture: 9.3%
    industry: 32.7%
    services: 58% (2014 est.)
    0.7% (2014 est.)
    1% (2009 est.)
    note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers
    country comparison to the world: 5
    6.3% (2012 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.8%
    highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
    26.5 (2011)
    21.7 (1998)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    revenues: $26.55 billion
    expenditures: $26.71 billion (2014 est.)
    35.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    -0.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    22.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    27% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    calendar year
    16.2% (2014 est.)
    16.5% (2013 est.)
    20% (13 August 2014)
    10.5% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    20% (31 December 2014 est.)
    19.13% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    $3.753 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.901 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $9.073 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.655 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    $28.06 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $26.31 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    -$3.042 billion (2014 est.)
    -$7.276 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    $37.89 billion (2014 est.)
    $36.57 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
    Russia 45.3%, Ukraine 11.3%, Netherlands 9%, Germany 4.7% (2013)
    $40.47 billion (2014 est.)
    $41.11 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
    Russia 53.2%, Germany 7.1%, China 6.6%, Ukraine 4.8% (2013)
    $3.483 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.937 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    $40.33 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $39.22 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $10.17 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -
    10,685 (2014 est.)
    8,880.1 (2013 est.)
    8,336.9 (2012 est.)
    4,974.6 (2011 est.)
    2,978.5 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: BELARUS

  • 31.5 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    37.88 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    3.704 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    6.716 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    8.032 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    99.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    30,710 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    294,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    198 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    346,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    187,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    224,200 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    43,240 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    213 million cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    20.92 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    20.1 billion cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    67.13 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
  • Communications :: BELARUS

  • 4.407 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    10.675 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading telecommunications infrastructure; modernization of the network progressing with roughly two-thirds of switching equipment now digital
    domestic: state-owned Beltelcom is the sole provider of fixed-line local and long distance service; fixed-line teledensity is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved; multiple GSM mobile-cellular networks are experiencing rapid growth; mobile-cellular teledensity now exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons
    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); 3 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 (2008)
    4 state-controlled national TV channels; Polish and Russian TV broadcasts are available in some areas; state-run Belarusian Radio operates 3 national networks and an external service; Russian and Polish radio broadcasts are available (2007)
    AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)
    47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995)
    295,217 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    2.643 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 67
  • Transportation :: BELARUS

  • 65 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    total: 33
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 20
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 7 (2013)
    total: 32
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    28 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 5,386 km; oil 1,589 km; refined products 1,730 km (2013)
    total: 5,537 km
    broad gauge: 5,512 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)
    standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    total: 86,392 km
    paved: 74,651 km
    unpaved: 11,741 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    2,500 km (major rivers are the west-flowing Western Dvina and Neman rivers and the south-flowing Dnepr River and its tributaries, the Berezina, Sozh, and Pripyat rivers) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    river port(s): Mazyr (Prypyats')
  • Military :: BELARUS

  • Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force (2013)
    18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,401,785
    females age 16-49: 2,429,653 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,693,626
    females age 16-49: 2,012,401 (2010 est.)
    male: 51,855
    female: 48,760 (2010 est.)
    1.3% of GDP (2013)
    1.2% of GDP (2012)
    1.27% of GDP (2011)
    1.2% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 82
  • Transnational Issues :: BELARUS

  • boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its border with Belarus
    refugees (country of origin): 81,645 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015)
    stateless persons: 6,440 (2014)
    current situation: Belarus is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and children are trafficked to European and Middle Eastern countries and within Belarus for sexual exploitation; Belarusian men, women, and children are found in forced labor in the construction industry and other sectors in Russia, Belarus, and other countries; Ukrainian women may be sex trafficked in Belarus
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute a significant effort toward meeting the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking; authorities did not convict any trafficker and conducted the fewest investigations in the last four years; a 2013 law permitting state funding for NGOs that provide services to victims has not been implemented; the government retained a decree forbidding workers from leaving their jobs in the wood processing industry without their employer’s permission, and authorities did not identify any labor trafficking victims; continuing efforts to prevent human trafficking included awareness campaigns, penalizing fraudulent labor recruitment, and a safe migration hotline (2014)
    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; anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards and was weakened further when know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities (2008)