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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 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 president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 38
4.208 million (2011)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 68
10.695 million (2011)

Telephone system
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)

Broadcast media
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)

Internet country code
.by

Internet hosts World Ranking: 62
302,560 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 69
2.643 million (2009)


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  Belarus (Minsk):


  GPS points from Belarus (Minsk)

Krasnaya Sloboda Mahilyowskaya Voblasts'

Oginskogo Kanal Brestskaya Voblasts'

Lozovtse Brestskaya Voblasts'

Novyy Perevoz Horad Minsk

Berezlyany Brestskaya Voblasts'

Murashki Homyel'skaya Voblasts'

Filipinenta Mahilyowskaya Voblasts'

Gaydamovichi Mahilyowskaya Voblasts'




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