Belarus becomes full member of GNS
A week ago Belarus became a member of one of the most prestigious nuclear clubs of the world, the Group of Nuclear Suppliers (GNS). The GNS is the first and only organization dealing with the control over exports of nuclear materials and equipment used for production of nuclear weapons.
It also controls materials and equipment of so-called dual usage. Until recently the group had included 35 countries, with Russia and Ukraine among its members. Belarus' accession to this important nuclear club could be called one of few big good innings of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, BDG Weekly reports.
Foreign Relations Committee approves resolution on Belarus
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a long list of items en bloc by voice vote, including the 3 May resolution of the House of Representatives condemning human rights violations in Belarus, BelaPAN reports. The resolution calls on Aleksandr Lukashenko's regime to engage in negotiations with the opposition and on Russia to respect Belarus' sovereignty.
The list now goes to the floor for consideration by the full Senate. The Belarusian government reacted angrily to the resolution. On 17 May, the House of Representatives of the Belarusian National Assembly condemned the resolution and accused the United States of supporting destructive forces in Belarus.
AIDS situation remains severe
The Belarusian National AIDS Prevention Centre has released new data on the AIDS situation in Belarus. According to the report, the situation remains severe, with about 3000 HIV cases registered to date being only the tip of an iceberg. Experts say that the real number of HIV positive is five to ten times higher.
"It is impossible to stop the epidemic once it has begun," says Svetlana Broutskaya, representative of the National AIDS Prevention Centre. "Our task is now to slow down the growth in the number of cases and to minimize the negative consequences of the spread of the disease."
Radziwill's remains reburied in Niasviž
A capsule with the remains of Anthony Radziwill, a descendant of the Duke Radziwill family who died in London last year, was reburied in the Jesuit Church in the town of Niasviž last week.
Anthony Radziwill was buried in the family crypt at the request of his family. Anthony Radziwill worked for the Shell company and headed the Niasviž Foundation before his death.
Mrs Radziwill presented a unique map of the Grand Duchy of Litva to Belarus. The first detailed map of the Grand Duchy of Litva was engraved by Tomasz Makowski, head of the Radziwill's printing house in Niasviž in the 17th century. The map was printed in Amsterdam in 1613.
Belarusians to be allowed to take more currency abroad
The Belarusian government is soon to increase the maximum hard currency equivalent that Belarusians can take abroad without declaring it at customs checkpoints from USD 500 to USD 1500.
The State Customs Committee reported that the decision to raise the amount to USD 1500 was made at a recent summit of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
The measure is aimed at unifying legislation of the Customs Alliance member states. However, it is not known exactly when the new regulation will come into force.
Victor Lukyanow, 16 June 2000