About 1,000 Tuvaluans work in Nauru mining phosphate.
Each chamber has the ability to veto any law passed by local officials if it is contrary to the Constitution of Belarus.
Ethnic Belarusians constitute 81.2 percent of Belarus's total population.
Belarus declared itself sovereign on July 27, 1990, by issuing the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.
According to a 1994 estimate by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 34 percent of Belarus was at that time covered by forests.
Newspapers such as Nasa Niva and the Belaruskaya Delovaya Gazeta were targeted for closure by the authorities after they published reports critical of President Lukashenko or other government officials.
The Belarusian government sponsors annual cultural festivals including the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, which showcases Belarusian performers, artists, writers, musicians, and actors.
Belarus has an average annual rainfall of 21.7 to 27.5 inches (550 to 700 mm).
The union between Poland and Lithuania ended in 1795, and the commonwealth was partitioned by Imperial Russia, Prussia, and Austria, dividing Belarus.
Most Belarusians converted to the Russian Orthodox Church following Belarus' annexation by Russia after the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The population of Belarus did not regain its pre-war level until 1971.
An ornamental pattern used on some early dresses is currently used to decorate the hoist of the Belarusian national flag, adopted in a disputed referendum in 1995.
Of the principalities held by the Duchy, nine were settled by ancestors of the Belarusian people.
At the end of the nineteenth century, major Belarusian cities formed their own opera and ballet companies.
During this period, A. Bogatyryov, creator of the opera In Polesye Virgin Forest, served as the "tutor" of Belarusian composers.
During the negotiations of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Belarus first declared independence on March 25, 1918, forming the Belarusian People's Republic.
Belarus and Lithuania ratified final border demarcation documents in February 2007.
Belarus has four World Heritage Sites: the Mir Castle Complex, the Niasvizh Castle, the Bia?owie?a Forest (shared with Poland), and the Struve Geodetic Arc (shared with nine other countries).
Belarus also has deposits of clay, sand, chalk, dolomite, phosphorite, and rock and potassium salt.
Some nationalists contend that this discovery is proof that the Soviet government was trying to erase the Belarusian people, causing Belarusian nationalists to seek independence.
The Belarusian Constitution forbids the use of special extra-judicial courts.
During his stay, he worked with Belarusian poet Vincent Dunin-Marcinkevich and created the opera Sielanka (Peasant Woman).
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Freedom House have commented regarding the loss of press freedom in Belarus.
Belarus and Russia have been close trading partners and diplomatic allies since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
On May 27, 2008, Belarusian President Lukashenko said that he had named Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the "prime minister" of the Russia-Belarus alliance.
Research carried out in Belarus in 1996 under the support of the World Bank showed that the number of poor had sharply increased; from 5 percent in 1992 to 22 percent by 1995.
The history of Belarus is a story of domination by foreign powers, forced division and re-unification of the land, devastation during war and authoritarian rule following its 1991 independence.
Belarus' path of overcoming this crisis was "market socialism," launched by Alexander Lukashenko following his 1994 election to the presidency.
The Belarusian government is also criticized for human rights violations and its actions against non-governmental organizations, independent journalists, national minorities, and opposition politicians.
Alexander Lukashenko, who has been the president of Belarus since 1994, has described himself as having an "authoritarian ruling style.
Much of Belarus' architectural heritage was destroyed during World War II, especially in Minsk.
Belarus was named Belorussia (Russian: ??????????) in the days of Imperial Russia, and the Russian tsar was usually styled Tsar of All the Russias—Great, Little, and White.
Another issue for the Belarusian press is the unresolved disappearance of several journalists.
Many streams and 11,000 lakes are found in Belarus.
Belarus is a presidential republic, governed by a president and the National Assembly.
Accordingly, the name Belorussia was replaced by Belarus in English, and, to some extent, in Russian, although the traditional name still persists in that language as well.
Belarus experienced long periods of foreign control throughout its history during which periods considerable efforts were made to suppress both its language and culture.
The Belarusian nobles usually had their fabrics imported and chose the colors of red, blue or green.
Minsk, the nation's capital and largest city, is home to 1,741,400 of Belarus's 9,724,700 residents.
Most of Belarus's service members are conscripts, who serve for 12 months if they have higher education or 18 months if they do not.
The name Belarus derives from the term White Russia, which first appeared in German and Latin medieval literature.
Belarus is the only nation in Europe that retains the death penalty for certain crimes during times of peace as well as times of war.
Belarus is bordered by Latvia on the north, Lithuania to the northwest, Poland to the west, Russia to the north and east and Ukraine to the south.
Belarus's highest point is Dzyarzhynskaya Hara (Dzyarzhynsk Hill) at 1132 feet (345 meters), and its lowest point is on the Neman River at 295 feet (90 meters).
Bйla's attempt to recover Dalmatia led the Kingdom of Hungary into two wars against the Republic of Venice.
Belarus has a population density of about 50 people per square kilometer (127 per sq mi); 71.7 percent of its total population is concentrated in urban areas.
In 2005, Freedom House gave Belarus a score of 6.75 (not free) when it came to dealing with press freedom.
The official use of the Belarusian language and other cultural aspects were limited by Moscow.
Belarus's two official languages are Belarusian and Russian, spoken at home by 36.7 percent and 62.8 percent of Belarusians, respectively.
The 2004 US Belarus Democracy Act continued this trend, authorizing funding for pro-democracy Belarusian NGOs and forbidding loans to the Belarusian government except for humanitarian purposes.
By the sixteenth century, Polatsk resident Francysk Skaryna translated the Bible into Belarusian.
Joseph Stalin implemented a policy of Sovietization to isolate the Byelorussian SSR from Western influences as well as to replace Belarus's cultural identity with that of Russia.
After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus declared its sovereignty on July 27, 1990, and independence from the Soviet Union on August 25, 1991.
The Belarusian Government has since been criticized for acting against media outlets.
The Russians, led by Tsar Ivan the III, began military conquests in 1486 in an attempt to gain the Kievan Rus' lands, specifically Belarus and Ukraine.
Belarus has been a member of the international Non-Aligned Movement since 1998 and a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945.
The traditional two piece Belarusian dress originated from the Kievan Rus' period, and continues to be worn today at special functions.
Belarus has only small reserves of petroleum and natural gas and imports most of its oil and gas from Russia.
Like many other European countries, Belarus has a negative population growth rate and a negative natural growth rate.
In 2007, Belarus' population declined by 0.41 percent and its fertility rate was 1.22, well below the replacement rate.
Belarus's natural resources include peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomite (limestone), marl, chalk, sand, gravel, and clay.
Belarus is dependent on Russia for imports of raw materials and for its export market.
Belarus' Armed Forces, which were formed in 1992 using parts of the former Soviet Armed Forces, consists of three branches: the Army, the Air Force, and the Ministry of Defense joint staff.
The Council of Europe has barred Belarus from European Union membership since 1997 for undemocratic voting and election irregularities in the November 1996 constitutional referendum and parliament bi-elections.
After the "Helium Acts Amendments of 1960" (Public Law 86–777), the U.S. Bureau of Mines arranged for five private plants to recover helium from natural gas.
Belarus has not expressed a desire to join NATO but has participated in the Individual Partnership Program since 1997.
The country of Belarus covers 80,100 square miles (207,600 sq km), slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Kansas.
Each region of Belarus has developed specific design patterns.
The ballet Nightingale by M. Kroshner was composed during the Soviet era and became the first Belarusian ballet showcased at the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre in Minsk.
The transformation of the ex-Soviet forces into the Armed Forces of Belarus, which was completed in 1997, reduced the number of its soldiers by 30,000 and restructured its leadership and military formations.
The government's Ministry of Culture finances events promoting Belarusian arts and culture both inside and outside the country.
Kazulin was detained and beaten by police during protests surrounding the All Belarusian People's Assembly.
Belarusian territories were acquired by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine II and held until their occupation by Germany during World War I.
The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-sixteenth century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey.
The Union of Russia and Belarus, a supranational confederation, was established in a 1996–1999 series of treaties that called for monetary union, equal rights, single citizenship, and a common foreign and defense policy.
Belarusian literature began with eleventh- to thirteenth-century religious writing; of which the work of twelfth-century poet Kiryla Turauski is representative.
Belarus applied to become a member of the World Trade Organization in 1993.
Belarus has increased cooperation with China, strengthened by the visit of President Lukashenko to that country in October 2005.
Belarus has historically been a Russian Orthodox country, with minorities practicing Catholicism, Judaism, and other religions.
Belarus was a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Belarus is divided into six voblasts, or administrative division (provinces), which are named after the cities that serve as their administrative centers.
Emigration from Belarus has been an additional cause for the shrinking number of Jewish residents.
In 2005, approximately 1.4 percent of Belarus's gross domestic product was devoted to military expenditures.
Many of the writers at the time, such as U?adzimir Ћy?ka, Kazimir Svayak, Yakub Kolas, ?mitrok Biadula and Maksim Haretski, wrote for a Belarusian language paper called Nasha Niva, published in Vilnius.
The territory and its nation were devastated in World War II, during which Belarus lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources.
Treaties in 1995 and 1996 demarcated Belarus's borders with Latvia and Lithuania, but Belarus failed to ratify a 1997 treaty establishing the Belarus-Ukraine border.
The modern period of Belarusian literature began in the late nineteenth century; one important writer was Yanka Kupala.
According to Article 16 of its Constitution, Belarus has no official religion.
Rhyming was common in these works, which were generally written in Old Belarusian, Latin, Polish or Church-Slavic.
The last major revival of the Belarusian literature occurred in the 1960s with novels published by Vasil Byka? and U?adzimir Karatkievi?.
Until 2000, subsidies to state enterprises and price controls on industrial and consumer staples constituted a major feature of the Belarusian economy.
The change was made to reflect adequately the Belarusian language form of the name.