Belarus Population: 9,527,543


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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 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.

    Landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland
Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E
Area: total: 207,600 sq km
land: 202,900 sq km
water: 4,700 sq km

Size comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Kentucky; slightly smaller than Kansas
Land Boundaries: total: 3,642 km border countries (5): Latvia 161 km, Lithuania 640 km, Poland 418 km, Russia 1312 km, Ukraine 1111 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Terrain: generally flat with much marshland
Natural resources: timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
Land use: agricultural land: 43.7% (2016 est.) arable land: 27.2% (2016 est.)
permanent crops: 0.6% (2016 est.) permanent pasture: 15.9% (2016 est.) forest: 42.7% (2016 est.)
other: 13.6% (2016 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,140 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: large tracts of marshy land
Current Environment Issues: soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian
Ethnic groups: Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)
Languages: Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)
Religions: Orthodox 48.3%, Catholic 7.1%, other 3.5%, non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)
Population: 9,527,543 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.91% (male 779,577 /female 736,481)
15-24 years: 9.96% (male 488,240 /female 460,673)
25-54 years: 44.49% (male 2,089,202 /female 2,149,486)
55-64 years: 14.42% (male 607,368 /female 766,238)
65 years and over: 15.22% (male 467,299 /female 982,979) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 43.8 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 23.2 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 20.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 4.9 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 40.3 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 43.3 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.24% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 10 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 13.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 78.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.44% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 2.005 million MINSK (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: 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: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 25.7 years (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.2 years male: 67.8 years
female: 79 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.49 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 72.1% (2017) note:   percent of women 18-49
Physicians density: 4.08 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density: 11 beds/1,000 population (2013)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.1% of population
total: 99.7% of population

urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.9% of population
total: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 94.1% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 95.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 94.3% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 5.9% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 4.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 5.7% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 24,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <500 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 24.5% (2016)
Education expenditures: 4.8% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 15 years female: 16 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 9.3% male: 11.2% female: 7.2% (2017 est.)
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Country name: 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
etymology: 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
Government type: presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Capital: name: Minsk
geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the origin of the name is disputed; Minsk may originally have been located 16 km to the southwest, on the banks of Menka River; remnants of a 10th-century settlement on the banks of the Menka have been found 
Administrative divisions: 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
Independence: 25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday: 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
Constitution: history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic through petition to the National Assembly or by petition of least 150,000 eligible voters; approval required by at least two-thirds majority vote in both chambers or by simple majority of votes cast in a referendum (2016)
Legal system: civil law system; note - nearly all major codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, family, and labor) were revised and came into force in 1999 and 2000
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Sergey RUMAS (since 18 August 2018); First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr TURCHIN (since 18 August 2018); Deputy Prime Ministers Igor LYASHENKO, Vladimir KUKHAREV, Igor PETRISHENKO (since 18 August 2018), Mikhail RUSYY (since 2012)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); 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 and win in a third (19 March 2006), fourth (19 December 2010), and fifth election (11 October 2015); next election in 2020; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly

election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (independent) 83.5%, Tatstyana KARATKEVICH (Tell the Truth) 4.4%, Sergey GAYDUKEVICH (LDP) 3.3%, other 8.8%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
Legislative branch: description: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobraniye consists of: 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) House of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: Council of the Republic -n/aHouse of Representatives - last held on 11 September 2016 (next to be held (early) in November 2019); 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 virtually every seat, with only the UCP member and one independent forming alternative representation in the House; international observers determined that the previous elections, on 28 September 2008 and 23 September 2012, also fell short of democratic standards, with pro-LUKASHENKO candidates winning every seat

election results: Council of the Republic - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 39, women 17, percent of women 26.6% House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KPB 8, Belarusian Patriotic Party 3, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 3, LDP 1, UCP 1, independent 94; composition - men 72, women 38, percent of women 34.5%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 31.6% note: the US does not recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chairman and deputy chairman and organized into several specialized panels, including economic and military; number of judges set by the president of the republic and the court chairman); 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 Council of the Republic; the presiding judge directly elected by the president and approved by the Council of the Republic; judges can serve for 11 years with an age limit of 70

subordinate courts: oblast courts; Minsk City Court; town courts; Minsk city and oblast economic courts
Political parties and leaders: pro-government parties: Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY] Belarusian Patriotic Party [Nikolai ULAKHOVICH] Belarusian Social Sport Party [Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH] Communist Party of Belarus or KPB [Aleksei SOKOL] Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH] Republican Party [Vladimir BELOZOR] Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANIY] Social Democratic Party of Popular Accord [Sergei YERMAK] opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Paval SEVIARYNETS, Volha KAVALKOVA, Vital RYMASHEWSKI] (unregistered) Belarusian Party of the Green [Anastasiya DOROFEYEVA] Belarusian Party of the Left "Just World" [Sergey KALYAKIN] Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Ryhor KASTUSEU] Belarusian Social-Democratic Assembly [Sergei CHERECHEN] Belarusian Social Democratic Party ("Assembly") or BSDPH [Ihar BARYSAU] Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) [Mikalay STATKEVICH] (unregistered) Christian Conservative Party or BPF [Zyanon PAZNYAK] United Civic Party or UCP [Nikolay KOZLOV]
International organization participation: BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
National symbol(s): no clearly defined current national symbol, the mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser) is the traditional Belarusian symbol;
national colors: green, red, white
National anthem: 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)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; recalled by Belarus in 2008); Charge d'Affaires Pavel SHIDLOVSKIY (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
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; left in 2008 upon insistence of Belarusian Government); Charge d'Affaires Jenifer MOORE (since August 2018)
embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
mailing address: Unit 7010 Box 100, DPO AE 09769
telephone: [375] (17) 210-1283
FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
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As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed industrial base, but it is now outdated, inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets. The country’s agricultural base is largely dependent on government subsidies. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, an initial burst of economic reforms included privatization of state enterprises, creation of private property rights, and the acceptance of private entrepreneurship, but by 1994 the reform effort dissipated. About 80% of industry remains in state hands, and foreign investment has virtually disappeared. Several businesses have been renationalized. State-owned entities account for 70-75% of GDP, and state banks make up 75% of the banking sector. Economic output declined for several years following the break-up of the Soviet Union, but revived in the mid-2000s. Belarus has only small reserves of crude oil and imports crude oil and natural gas from Russia at subsidized, below market, prices. Belarus derives export revenue by refining Russian crude and selling it at market prices. Russia and Belarus have had serious disagreements over prices and quantities for Russian energy. Beginning in early 2016, Russia claimed Belarus began accumulating debt – reaching $740 million by April 2017 – for paying below the agreed price for Russian natural gas and Russia cut back its export of crude oil as a result of the debt. In April 2017, Belarus agreed to pay its gas debt and Russia restored the flow of crude. New non-Russian foreign investment has been limited in recent years, largely because of an unfavorable financial climate. In 2011, a financial crisis lead to a nearly three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. The Belarusian economy has continued to struggle under the weight of high external debt servicing payments and a trade deficit. In mid-December 2014, the devaluation of the Russian ruble triggered a near 40% devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. Belarus’s economy stagnated between 2012 and 2016, widening productivity and income gaps between Belarus and neighboring countries. Budget revenues dropped because of falling global prices on key Belarusian export commodities. Since 2015, the Belarusian government has tightened its macro-economic policies, allowed more flexibility to its exchange rate, taken some steps towards price liberalization, and reduced subsidized government lending to state-owned enterprises. Belarus returned to modest growth in 2017, largely driven by improvement of external conditions and Belarus issued sovereign debt for the first time since 2011, which provided the country with badly-needed liquidity, and issued $600 million worth of Eurobonds in February 2018, predominantly to US and British investors.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $179.4 billion (2017 est.) $175.1 billion (2016 est.) $179.7 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $54.44 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2017 est.) -2.5% (2016 est.) -3.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $18,900 (2017 est.) $18,400 (2016 est.) $19,000 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 24.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 23% of GDP (2016 est.) 25.8% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 54.8% (2017 est.) government consumption: 14.6% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.9% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 5.7% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 67% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -67% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 8.1% (2017 est.) industry: 40.8% (2017 est.) services: 51.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
Industries: metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances
Industrial production growth rate: 5.6% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 4.381 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 9.7%
industry: 23.4%
services: 66.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate: 0.8% (2017 est.) 1% (2016 est.) note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers
Population below poverty line: 5.7% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 26.5 (2011) 21.7 (1998)
Budget: revenues: 22.15 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 20.57 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 40.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 53.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 53.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (2017 est.) 11.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$931 million (2017 est.) -$1.669 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $28.65 billion (2017 est.) $22.98 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners: Russia 43.9%, Ukraine 11.5%, UK 8.2% (2017)
Imports: $31.58 billion (2017 est.) $25.61 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
Imports - partners: Russia 57.2%, China 8%, Germany 5.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $7.315 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $4.927 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $39.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $37.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $6.929 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $7.241 billion (31 December 2015)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $3.547 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.649 billion (31 December 2015)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar - 1.9 (2017 est.) 2 (2016 est.) 2 (2015 est.) 15,926 (2014 est.) 10,224.1 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 31.58 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 31.72 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3.482 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 6.319 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 10.04 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 96% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 32,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 31,730 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 468,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 198 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 477,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 141,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 351,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 14,630 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 59.46 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 17.7 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 17.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 56.07 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 10,963,224
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: fiber network reaches two million establishments; trial 5G services during the first half of 2019; 10,000km of fiber cabling laid; August 2018 almost two million GPON connections (Gigabit Passive Optical Network, point-to-multi point access mechanism); 5 year plan is on track; Belarus launched its first telecoms satellite in 2016; LTE use reaches 75% of mobile subscribers (2018)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved, 47 per 100 fixed-line; mobile-cellular teledensity now approaches 120 telephones per 100 persons (2018)

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
Broadcast media: 7 state-controlled national TV channels; Polish and Russian TV broadcasts are available in some areas; state-run Belarusian Radio operates 5 national networks and an external service; Russian and Polish radio broadcasts are available (2019)
Internet country code: .by
Internet users: total: 6,805,786
percent of population: 71.1% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 65 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 33
(2017) over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
under 914 m: 7 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 32
(2013) over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
under 914 m: 28 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 5386 km gas, 1589 km oil, 1730 km refined products (2013)
Railways: total 5,528 km
(2014) standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2014) broad gauge: 5,503 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified) (2014)
Roadways: total 86,600 km
Waterways: 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)
Merchant marine: total 5

by type: oil tanker 1, other 4 (2018)
Ports and terminals:
river port(s): Mazyr (Prypyats')
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Military branches: Belarus Armed Forces (Uzbrojenyja sily Respubliki Bielarus): Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force (2019)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2016)
Military expenditures: 0.93% of GDP (2017) 1.2% of GDP (2016) 1.33% of GDP (2015) 1.33% of GDP (2014) 1.33% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: 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 and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 6,025 (2018)
Illicit drugs: 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
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