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Ukraine vs. Belarus

Introduction

UkraineBelarus
Background"Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine achieved a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and endured a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two forced famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although Ukraine achieved independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties.
A peaceful mass protest referred to as the ""Orange Revolution"" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary (Rada) elections, become prime minister in August 2006, and be elected president in February 2010. In October 2012, Ukraine held Rada elections, widely criticized by Western observers as flawed due to use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates. President YANUKOVYCH's backtracking on a trade and cooperation agreement with the EU in November 2013 - in favor of closer economic ties with Russia - and subsequent use of force against students, civil society activists, and other civilians in favor of the agreement led to a three-month protest occupation of Kyiv's central square. The government's use of violence to break up the protest camp in February 2014 led to all out pitched battles, scores of deaths, international condemnation, and the president's abrupt departure for Russia. New elections in the spring allowed pro-West president Petro POROSHENKO to assume office on 7 June 2014.
Shortly after YANUKOVYCH's departure in late February 2014, Russian President PUTIN ordered the invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula claiming the action was to protect ethnic Russians living there. Two weeks later, a ""referendum"" was held regarding the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation. The ""referendum"" was condemned as illegitimate by the Ukrainian Government, the EU, the US, and the UN General Assembly (UNGA). In response to Russia's purported annexation of Crimea, 100 members of the UN passed UNGA resolution 68/262, rejecting the ""referendum"" as baseless and invalid and confiming the sovereignty, political independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia also continues to supply separatists in two of Ukraine's eastern provinces with manpower, funding, and materiel resulting in an armed conflict with the Ukrainian Government. Representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the unrecognized separatist republics signed the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum in September 2014 to end the conflict. However, this agreement failed to stop the fighting. In a renewed attempt to alleviate ongoing clashes, leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany negotiated a follow-on package of measures in February 2015 to implement the Minsk Agreements. Representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also meet regularly to facilitate implementation of the peace deal. More than 33,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in the fighting resulting from Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
"
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.

Geography

UkraineBelarus
LocationEastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland, Romania, and Moldova in the west and Russia in the east
Eastern Europe, east of Poland
Geographic coordinates49 00 N, 32 00 E
53 00 N, 28 00 E
Map referencesAsia, Europe
Europe
Areatotal: 603,550 sq km
land: 579,330 sq km
water: 24,220 sq km
note: approximately 43,133 sq km, or about 7.1% of Ukraine's area, is Russian occupied
total: 207,600 sq km
land: 202,900 sq km
water: 4,700 sq km
Area - comparativealmost four times the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Texas
slightly less than twice the size of Kentucky; slightly smaller than Kansas
Land boundariestotal: 5,618 km
border countries (7): Belarus 1,111 km, Hungary 128 km, Moldova 1,202 km, Poland 535 km, Romania 601 km, Russia 1,944 km, Slovakia 97 km
total: 3,642 km
border countries (5): Latvia 161 km, Lithuania 640 km, Poland 418 km, Russia 1,312 km, Ukraine 1,111 km
Coastline2,782 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m or to the depth of exploitation
none (landlocked)
Climatetemperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; warm summers across the greater part of the country, hot in the south
cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Terrainmostly fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, with mountains found only in the west (the Carpathians) or in the extreme south of the Crimean Peninsula
generally flat with much marshland
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 175 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m
mean elevation: 160 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
Natural resourcesiron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land
timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
Land useagricultural land: 71.2%
arable land 56.1%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 13.6%
forest: 16.8%
other: 12% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 43.7%
arable land 27.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 15.9%
forest: 42.7%
other: 13.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land21,670 sq km (2012)
1,140 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsoccasional floods; occasional droughts
large tracts of marshy land
Environment - current issuesinadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant
soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, 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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
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
Geography - notestrategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe after Russia
landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
Population distributiondensest settlement in the eastern (Donbas) and western regions; noteable concentrations in and around major urban areas of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donets'k, Dnipropetrovs'k, and Odesa
a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations

Demographics

UkraineBelarus
Population44,209,733 (July 2016 est.)
9,570,376 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 15.51% (male 3,528,821/female 3,326,405)
15-24 years: 10.3% (male 2,334,454/female 2,218,718)
25-54 years: 44.47% (male 9,639,404/female 10,020,385)
55-64 years: 13.68% (male 2,587,898/female 3,458,016)
65 years and over: 16.05% (male 2,375,904/female 4,719,728) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 15.65% (male 770,014/female 727,338)
15-24 years: 10.68% (male 525,704/female 496,414)
25-54 years: 45.04% (male 2,118,447/female 2,191,694)
55-64 years: 13.95% (male 589,288/female 745,815)
65 years and over: 14.69% (male 448,135/female 957,527) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.4 years
male: 37.2 years
female: 43.5 years (2016 est.)
total: 39.8 years
male: 36.8 years
female: 42.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate-0.39% (2016 est.)
-0.21% (2016 est.)
Birth rate10.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
10.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate14.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
13.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.75 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.5 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
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: 0.46 male(s)/female
total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 71.8 years
male: 67.1 years
female: 76.9 years (2016 est.)
total population: 72.7 years
male: 67.2 years
female: 78.6 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.54 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.48 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.86% (2015 est.)
0.64% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Ukrainian(s)
adjective: Ukrainian
noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian
Ethnic groupsUkrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8% (2001 est.)
Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS219,000 (2015 est.)
35,200 (2015 est.)
ReligionsOrthodox (includes Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox (UAOC), Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP)), Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish
note: Ukraine's population is overwhelmingly Christian; the vast majority - up to two-thirds - identify themselves as Orthodox, but many do not specify a particular branch; the UOC-KP and the UOC-MP each represent less than a quarter of the country's population, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church accounts for 8-10%, and the UAOC accounts for 1-2%; Muslim and Jewish adherents each compose less than 1% of the total population (2013 est.)
Orthodox 48.3%, Catholic 7.1%, other 3.5%, non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths7,900 (2015 est.)
1,000 (2015 est.)
Languages"Ukrainian (official) 67.5%, Russian (regional language) 29.6%, other (includes small Crimean Tatar-, Moldavian-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities) 2.9% (2001 est.)
note: 2012 legislation enables a language spoken by at least 10% of an oblast's population to be given the status of ""regional language,"" allowing for its use in courts, schools, and other government institutions; Ukrainian remains the country's only official nationwide language
"
Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
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 (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2015)
Education expenditures6% of GDP (2014)
4.9% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 69.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.33% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 76.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 97.8% of population
total: 96.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 2.2% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.1% of population
total: 99.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.9% of population
total: 0.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.4% of population
rural: 92.6% of population
total: 95.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.6% of population
rural: 7.4% of population
total: 4.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 94.1% of population
rural: 95.2% of population
total: 94.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.9% of population
rural: 4.8% of population
total: 5.7% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationKYIV (capital) 2.942 million; Kharkiv 1.441 million; Odesa 1.01 million; Dnipropetrovsk 957,000; Donetsk 934,000; Zaporizhzhya 753,000 (2015)
MINSK (capital) 1.915 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate24 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures7.1% of GDP (2014)
5.7% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
4.07 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
11.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.7% (2014)
25.2% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 356,213
percentage: 7% (2005 est.)
total number: 54,218
percentage: 5% (2005 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth25 years (2013 est.)
25.4 years (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate65.4% (2012)
63.1% (2012)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 43.3
youth dependency ratio: 21.4
elderly dependency ratio: 21.9
potential support ratio: 4.6 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 43
youth dependency ratio: 23
elderly dependency ratio: 20
potential support ratio: 5 (2015 est.)

Government

UkraineBelarus
Country name"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ukraine
local long form: none
local short form: Ukrayina
former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: name derives from the Old East Slavic word ""ukraina"" meaning ""borderland or march (militarized border region)"" and began to be used extensively in the 19th century; originally Ukrainians referred to themselves as Rusyny (Rusyns, Ruthenians, or Ruthenes), an endonym derived from the medieval Rus state (Kyivan Rus)
"
"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 typesemi-presidential republic
presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Capitalname: Kyiv (Kiev)
note: pronounced KAY-yiv
geographic coordinates: 50 26 N, 30 31 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Minsk
geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions24 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast'), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonomna respublika), and 2 municipalities** (mista, singular - misto) with oblast status; Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Crimea or Avtonomna Respublika Krym* (Simferopol'), Dnipropetrovs'k (Dnipro), Donets'k, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmel'nyts'kyy, Kirovohrad (Kropyvnyts'kyy), Kyiv**, Kyiv, Luhans'k, L'viv, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sevastopol'**, Sumy, Ternopil', Vinnytsya, Volyn' (Luts'k), Zakarpattya (Uzhhorod), Zaporizhzhya, Zhytomyr
note 1: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); plans include the eventual renaming of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad oblasts, but because these names are mentioned in the Constitution of Ukraine, the change will require a constitutional amendment
note 2: the US Government does not recognize Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the municipality of Sevastopol, nor their redesignation as the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol
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
Independence24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: ca. 982 (VOLODYMYR I consolidates Kyivan Rus), 1648 (establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate)
25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holidayIndependence Day, 24 August (1991); note - 22 January 1918, the day Ukraine first declared its independence from Soviet Russia, and the date the short-lived Western and Greater (Eastern) Ukrainian republics united (1919), is now celebrated as Unity Day
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
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest adopted and ratified 28 June 1996
amendments: proposed by the president of Ukraine or by at least one-third of the Supreme Council members; adoption requires simple majority vote by the Council and at least two-thirds majority vote in its next regular session; adoption of proposals relating to general constitutional principles, elections, and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote by the Council and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on personal rights and freedoms, national independence, and territorial integrity cannot be amended; amended 2004, 2010, 2015 (2016)
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 systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
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
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Petro POROSHENKO (since 7 June 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Volodymyr HROYSMAN (since 14 April 2016); First Deputy Prime Minister Stepan KUBIV (since 14 April 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, approved by the Verkhovna Rada
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 25 May 2014 (next to be held in 2019); prime minister nominated by the president, confirmed by the Verkhovna Rada
election results: Petro POROSHENKO elected president; percent of vote - Petro POROSHENKO (independent) 54.5%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO (Fatherland) 12.9%, Oleh LYASHKO (Radical Party) 8.4%, other 24.2%; Volodymyr HROYSMAN elected prime minister; Verkhovna Rada vote 257-50
note: there is also a National Security and Defense Council or NSDC originally created in 1992 as the National Security Council; the NSDC staff is tasked with developing national security policy on domestic and international matters and advising the president; a presidential administration helps draft presidential edicts and provides policy support to the president
chief of state: president Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)
head of government: prime minister Andrey KOBYAKOV (since 27 December 2014); first deputy prime minister Vasily MATYUSHEVSKIY (since 27 December 2014)
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 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%, Tatsiana KARATKEVICH (Tell the Truth) 4.4%, Sergey GAYDUKEVICH (LDP) 3.3%, other 8.8%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Supreme Council or Verkhovna Rada (450 seats; 225 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 225 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - because of the Russian annexation of Crimea and the partial occupation of two eastern provinces, 27 of the 450 seats remain unfilled
elections: last held on 26 October 2014 (next to be held fall of 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - NF 22.1%, BPP 21.8%, Samopomich 11.0%, OB 9.4%, Radical 7.4%, Batkivshchyna 5.7%, Svoboda 4.7%, CPU 3.9%, other 13.9%; seats by party - BPP 132, NF 82, Samopomich 33, OB 29, Radical 22, Batkivshchyna 19, Svoboda 6, other 4, independent 96, vacant 27; note - voting not held in Crimea and parts of two Russian-occupied eastern oblasts leaving 27 seats vacant; seats as of December 2015 - BPP 139, NF 81, OB 43, Samopomich 26, Vidrozhennya 23, Radical 21, Batkivshchyna 19, VN 20, independent 50, vacant 28
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 House 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: House of Representatives - last held on 11 September 2016 (next to be held in 2020); 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; 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
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Ukraine or SCU (consists of 95 judges organized into civil, criminal, commercial, and administrative chambers, and a military panel); Constitutional Court (consists of 18 justices)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the Supreme Council of Justice or SCJ (a 20-member independent body of judicial officials and other appointees) and appointed by presidential decree; judges initially appointed for 5 years and, if approved by the SCJ, serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court justices appointed - 6 each by the president, by the SCU, and by the Verkhovna Rada; justices appointed for 9-year non-renewable terms
subordinate courts: specialized high courts; Courts of Cassation; Courts of Appeal; regional, district, city, and town courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, 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: provincial (including Minsk city) courts; first instance (district) courts; economic courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders"Batkivshchyna (""Fatherland"") [Yuliya TYMOSHENKO]
Bloc of Petro Poroshenko – Solidarnist or BPP [Vitaliy KLYCHKO] (formed from the merger of Solidarnist and UDAR)
Narodnyy Front (""People's Front"") or NF [Arseniy YATSENIUK]
Opposition Bloc or OB [Yuriy BOYKO]
Radical Party [Oleh LYASHKO]
Samopomich (""Self Reliance"") [Andriy SADOVYY]
Svoboda (""Freedom"") [Oleh TYAHNYBOK]
Ukrainian Association of Patriots or UKROP [Taras BATENKO]
Vidrozhennya (""Revival"") [Vitaliy KHOMUTYNNIK] (parliamentary group)
Volya Narodu (“People's Will”) or VN [Yaroslav MOSKALENKO] (parliamentary group)
"
"pro-government parties:
Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKIY]
Belarusian Patriotic Party [Nikolai ULAKHOVICH]
Belarusian Socialist Sporting Party [Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH]
Communist Party of Belarus or KPB [Georgi ATAMANOV]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]
Republican Party [Vladimir BELOZOR]
Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANIY]
opposition parties:
Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Pavel SEVERINETS] (unregistered)
Belarusian Party of the Green [Anastasiya DOROFEYEVA]
Belarusian Party of the Left ""Just 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 PAZNYAK]
United Civic Party or UCP [Anatoliy LEBEDKO]
"
Political pressure groups and leadersCentre UA [Oleh RYBACHUK]
OPORA Civic Network [Olha AIVAZOVSKA]
"Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH] (unregistered)
Belarusian Association of Journalists [Andrei BASTUNETS]
Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK]
Belarusian Helsinki Committee [Aleh HULAK]
For Freedom Movement [Yuri GUBAREVICH]
Malady Front (Young Front) [Zmitser DASHKEVICH] (unregistered)
Vyasna (Spring) human rights center [Ales BELYATSKIY] (unregistered)
Perspektiva [Anatoliy SHUMCHENKO] (small business association)
""Tell the Truth"" Movement [Tatsiana KARATKEVICH] (unregistered)
Women's Independent Democratic Movement [Ludmila PETINA]
"
International organization participationAustralia Group, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CICA (observer), CIS (participating member, has not signed the 1993 CIS charter), EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Valeriy CHALYY (since 3 August 2015)
chancery: 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 349-2920
FAX: [1] (202) 333-0817
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York, San Francisco
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 USchief of mission: Ambassador Marie YOVANOVITCH (since 29 August 2016)
embassy: 4 Igor Sikorsky Street, 04112 Kyiv
mailing address: 5850 Kyiv Place, Washington, DC 20521-5850
telephone: [380] (44) 521-5000
FAX: [380] (44) 521-5155
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; left in 2008 upon insistence of Belarusian Government); Charge d'Affaires Robert RILEY (since 22 August 2016)
embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
mailing address: Unit 7010 Box 100, DPO AE 09769
telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83
FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky
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
National anthem"name: ""Shche ne vmerla Ukraina"" (Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished)
lyrics/music: Paul CHUBYNSKYI/Mikhail VERBYTSKYI
note: music adopted 1991, lyrics adopted 2003; song first performed in 1864 at the Ukraine Theatre in Lviv; the lyrics, originally written in 1862, were revised in 2003
"
"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)
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)tryzub (trident); national colors: blue, yellow
no clearly defined current national symbol, the mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser) is the traditional Belarusian symbol; national colors: green, red, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ukraine
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belarus
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Economy

UkraineBelarus
Economy - overviewAfter Russia, the Ukrainian republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied unique equipment, such as, large diameter pipes and vertical drilling apparatus, and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR.

Shortly after independence in August 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level. Outside institutions - particularly the IMF –encouraged Ukraine to quicken the pace and scope of reforms to foster economic growth. Ukrainian Government officials eliminated most tax and customs privileges in a March 2005 budget law, bringing more economic activity out of Ukraine's large shadow economy. From 2000 until mid-2008, Ukraine's economy was buoyant despite political turmoil between the prime minister and president. The economy contracted nearly 15% in 2009, among the worst economic performances in the world. In April 2010, Ukraine negotiated a price discount on Russian gas imports in exchange for extending Russia's lease on its naval base in Crimea.

Ukraine’s oligarch-dominated economy grew slowly from 2010 to 2013. After former President YANUKOVYCH fled the country during the Revolution of Dignity, the international community began efforts to stabilize the Ukrainian economy, including a March 2014 IMF assistance package of $17.5 billion, of which Ukraine has received four disbursements, most recently in April 2017, bringing the total disbursed as of that date to approximately $8.4 billion. Ukraine has made significant progress on reforms designed to make the country prosperous, democratic, and transparent. But more improvements are needed, including fighting corruption, developing capital markets, and improving the legislative framework.

Russia’s occupation of Crimea in March 2014 and on-going aggression in eastern Ukraine have hurt economic growth. With the loss of a major portion of Ukraine’s heavy industry in Donbas and ongoing violence, Ukraine’s economy contracted by 6.6% in 2014 and by 14.3% in 2015, but grew by 2.3% in 2016 as key reforms took hold. After the EU and Ukraine enacted the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and Russia imposed a series of trade restrictions, the EU replaced Russia as Ukraine’s largest trading partner. Analysts predict approximately 2% growth in 2017, but a new prohibition on commercial trade with separatist-controlled territories will have an uncertain effect on Ukraine’s key industrial sectors.
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 reluctance to welcome private investment absent joint ownership or affiliation with the state. A few businesses, 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 due 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 world market prices. Belarus then derives export revenue by refining Russian crude and selling it at market prices. In late 2006, Russia began a process of rolling back its subsidies on oil and gas exports to Belarus. Several times since, Russia and Belarus have had serious disagreements over the level and price of Russian energy supplies. At one point in 2010, Russia stopped the export of all subsidized oil to Belarus save for domestic needs before the two countries reached a deal to restart the export of discounted oil to Belarus. Beginning in early 2016, Russia claims Belarus began accumulating debt – reaching $740 million by April 2017 – for paying below an agreed price for Russian natural gas. Russia decided to reduce 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.

Little new non-Russian foreign investment has occurred in recent years. In 2011, a financial crisis began, triggered by government-directed salary hikes, compounded by an increased cost in Russian energy inputs and an overvalued Belarusian ruble that lead to a nearly three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. In November 2011, Belarus agreed to sell to Russia its remaining shares of Beltransgaz, the Belarusian natural gas pipeline operator, in exchange for reduced prices for Russian natural gas. The situation stabilized in 2012, after Belarus received part of a $3 billion loan from the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Community Bail-out Fund, a $1 billion loan from the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, and $2.5 billion from the sale of Beltransgaz to Russian state-owned Gazprom; nevertheless, the Belarusian currency lost more than 60% of its value, as inflation reached new highs in 2011 and 2012, before calming in 2013. 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, which triggered a near 40% devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.

Belarus entered 2016 with a contracting economy and minimal hard currency reserves. Since 2012, Belarus’s economy has suffered stagnation, which has led to widening productivity and income gaps between Belarus and neighboring countries. Since 2015, the Belarusian government has tightened its monetary policies (including allowing a more flexible exchange rate regime) and reduced subsidized government lending to state-owned industrial and agricultural enterprises, amid a drop in state budget revenues owing to falling global prices on key Belarusian export commodities - petroleum products and potash fertilizer. In 2016, GDP and foreign trade fell and unemployment rose, while inflation declined and hard currency reserves increased.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$352.6 billion (2016 est.)
$344.6 billion (2015 est.)
$402.1 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$166 billion (2016 est.)
$170.5 billion (2015 est.)
$177.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.3% (2016 est.)
-14.3% (2015 est.)
-6.6% (2014 est.)
-2.6% (2016 est.)
-3.9% (2015 est.)
1.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$8,200 (2016 est.)
$8,100 (2015 est.)
$8,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$17,500 (2016 est.)
$17,900 (2015 est.)
$18,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 14.4%
industry: 26.3%
services: 59.3%
(2016 est.)
agriculture: 9.2%
industry: 40.9%
services: 49.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line24.1% (2010 est.)
5.7% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2011 est.)
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)13.5% (2016 est.)
48.7% (2015 est.)
note: Excluding the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of the anti-terrorist operation zone
14% (2016 est.)
13.6% (2015 est.)
Labor force18.04 million (2016 est.)
4.381 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 5.8%
industry: 26.5%
services: 67.8%
(2014)
agriculture: 9.7%
industry: 23.4%
services: 66.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate10% (2016 est.)
9.1% (2015 est.)
note: officially registered workers; large number of unregistered or underemployed workers
0.8% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers
Distribution of family income - Gini index24.6 (2013)
28.2 (2009)
26.5 (2011)
21.7 (1998)
Budgetrevenues: $27.8 billion
expenditures: $30.87 billion
note: this is the planned, consolidated budget (2016 est.)
revenues: $21.21 billion
expenditures: $20.92 billion (2016 est.)
Industriescoal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food processing
metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, , synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, , refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances
Industrial production growth rate2% (2016 est.)
-0.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables; beef, milk
grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
Exports$33.97 billion (2016 est.)
$35.5 billion (2015 est.)
$22.65 billion (2016 est.)
$26.19 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesferrous and nonferrous metals, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs
machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersRussia 12.7%, Turkey 7.3%, China 6.3%, Egypt 5.5%, Italy 5.2%, Poland 5.2% (2015)
Russia 39.1%, UK 11.1%, Ukraine 9.5%, Netherlands 4.3%, Germany 4.1% (2015)
Imports$38.3 billion (2016 est.)
$38.94 billion (2015 est.)
$25.44 billion (2016 est.)
$28.33 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesenergy, machinery and equipment, chemicals
mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
Imports - partnersRussia 20%, Germany 10.4%, China 10.1%, Belarus 6.5%, Poland 6.2%, Hungary 4.2% (2015)
Russia 56.6%, China 7.9%, Germany 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external$127.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$119.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$34.75 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$34.85 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateshryvnia (UAH) per US dollar -
25.26 (2016 est.)
21.8447 (2015 est.)
21.8447 (2014 est.)
11.8867 (2013 est.)
7.99 (2012 est.)
Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -
18,500 (2016 est.)
15,926 (2015 est.)
15,926 (2014 est.)
10,224.1 (2013 est.)
8,336.9 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt78.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
79.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: the total public debt of $64.5 billion consists of: domestic public debt ($23.8 billion); external public debt ($26.1 billion); and sovereign guarantees ($14.6 billion)
60.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$16.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.206 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.176 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3.367 billion (2016 est.)
-$251 million (2015 est.)
-$2.118 billion (2016 est.)
-$2.037 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$87.2 billion (2016 est.)
$48.13 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$65.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$60.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.929 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.241 billion (31 December 2015)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$7.983 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.183 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.547 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.649 billion (31 December 2015)
Market value of publicly traded shares$20.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$25.56 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$39.46 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$NA
Central bank discount rate22% (23 December 2015)
7.5% (31 January 2012)
14% (19 April 2017)
15% (15 March 2017)
Commercial bank prime lending rate18.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
21.82% (31 December 2015 est.)
18% (31 December 2016 est.)
18.08% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$60.72 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$62.77 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$24.09 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$22.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$19.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$19.68 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.232 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.301 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$78.02 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$113.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.651 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.608 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues31.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
44.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
0.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 23.1%
male: 23.7%
female: 22.4% (2014 est.)
total: 12.5%
male: 12.4%
female: 12.6% (2009 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 69.3%
government consumption: 20.3%
investment in fixed capital: 13.3%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 55.9%
imports of goods and services: -59.3% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 54.6%
government consumption: 15.8%
investment in fixed capital: 30.1%
investment in inventories: 2.6%
exports of goods and services: 57.2%
imports of goods and services: -60.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving14.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
15% of GDP (2015 est.)
9.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
28.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

UkraineBelarus
Electricity - production171 billion kWh (2014 est.)
34.08 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption143 billion kWh (2014 est.)
36.7 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports8.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
194 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports89 million kWh (2014 est.)
2.816 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production35,910 bbl/day (2015 est.)
32,710 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports24,180 bbl/day (2013 est.)
439,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports668.1 bbl/day (2013 est.)
31,810 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves400 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
200 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves1.104 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production19.9 billion cu m (2015)
0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - consumption33.8 billion cu m (2015 est.)
20.08 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports20 billion cu m (2014 est.)
20.05 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity56 million kW (2014 est.)
9.2 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels63.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
99.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants9.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels23.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources1.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production96,210 bbl/day (2013 est.)
444,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption257,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
170,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports19,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
284,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports153,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1,334 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy291 million Mt (2013 est.)
70 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

UkraineBelarus
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 9,113,061
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,540,678
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 47 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 60.72 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 137 (July 2015 est.)
total: 11.448 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: Ukraine's telecommunication development plan emphasizes improving domestic trunk lines, international connections, and the mobile-cellular system
domestic: the country's former sole telephone provider, Ukrtelekom, was successfully privatized 2011 and independent foreign-invested private companies now provide substantial telecommunications services; the mobile-cellular telephone system's expansion has slowed, largely due to saturation of the market that is now over 135 mobile phones per 100 persons
international: country code - 380; 2 new domestic trunk lines are a part of the fiber-optic Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) system and 3 Ukrainian links have been installed in the fiber-optic Trans-European Lines (TEL) project that connects 18 countries; additional international service is provided by the Italy-Turkey-Ukraine-Russia (ITUR) fiber-optic submarine cable and by an unknown number of earth stations in the Intelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2015)
general assessment: Belarus lags behind its neighbors in upgrading telecommunications infrastructure; modernization of the network progressing with over 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; the country has 3 major GSM mobile-cellular networks; mobile-cellular teledensity now approaches 120 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 (2017)
Internet country code.ua
.by
Internet userstotal: 21.886 million
percent of population: 49.3% (July 2015 est.)
total: 5.968 million
percent of population: 62.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediastate-controlled nationwide TV broadcast channel (UT1) and a number of privately owned TV networks provide basic TV coverage; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; Russian television broadcasts have a small audience nationwide, but larger audiences in the eastern and southern regions; the radio broadcast market, a mix of independent and state-owned networks, is comprised of some 300 stations (2007)
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 (2017)

Transportation

UkraineBelarus
Railwaystotal: 21,733 km
broad gauge: 21,684 km 1.524-m gauge (9,250 km electrified)
standard gauge: 49 km 1.435-m gauge (49 km electrified) (2014)
total: 5,528 km
broad gauge: 5,503 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)
standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 169,694 km
paved: 166,095 km (includes 17 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,599 km (2012)
total: 86,392 km
paved: 74,651 km
unpaved: 11,741 km (2010)
Waterways1,672 km (most on Dnieper River) (2012)
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)
Pipelinesgas 36,720 km; oil 4,514 km; refined products 4,363 km (2013)
gas 5,386 km; oil 1,589 km; refined products 1,730 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Feodosiya (Theodosia), Illichivsk, Mariupol', Mykolayiv, Odesa, Yuzhnyy
river port(s): Mazyr (Prypyats')
Airports187 (2013)
65 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 108
over 3,047 m: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 42
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 28 (2013)
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)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 79
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 69 (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)
Heliports9 (2013)
1 (2013)

Military

UkraineBelarus
Military branchesGround Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (2013)
Belarus Armed Forces: Land Force, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force (2013)
Military service age and obligation20-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (2015)
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 - percent of GDP3.8% of GDP (2016)
4% of GDP (2015)
3.02% of GDP (2014)
2.39% of GDP (2013)
2.35% of GDP (2012)
1.2% of GDP (2016)
1.33% of GDP (2015)
1.33% of GDP (2014)
1.33% of GDP (2013)
1.28% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

UkraineBelarus
Disputes - international1997 boundary delimitation treaty with Belarus remains unratified due to unresolved financial claims, stalling demarcation and reducing border security; delimitation of land boundary with Russia is complete and demarcation began in 2012; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov is suspended due to the occupation of Crimea by Russia; Ukraine and Moldova signed an agreement officially delimiting their border in 1999, but the border has not been demarcated due to Moldova's difficulties with the break-away region of Transnistria; Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor transit of people and commodities through Moldova's Transnistria Region, which remains under the auspices of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops; the ICJ ruled largely in favor of Romania in its dispute submitted in 2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary delimitation; Romania opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea
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
Illicit drugslimited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; some synthetic drug production for export to the West; limited government eradication program; used as transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Africa, Latin America, and Turkey to Europe and Russia; Ukraine has improved anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in February 2004; Ukraine's anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF
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)
Refugees and internally displaced personsIDPs: 1,641,895 (Russian-sponsored separatist violence in Crimea and eastern Ukraine) (2017)
stateless persons: 35,363 (2016); note - citizens of the former USSR who were permanently resident in Ukraine were granted citizenship upon Ukraine's independence in 1991, but some missed this window of opportunity; people arriving after 1991, Crimean Tatars, ethnic Koreans, people with expired Soviet passports, and people with no documents have difficulty acquiring Ukrainian citizenship; following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, thousands of Crimean Tatars and their descendants deported from Ukraine under the STALIN regime returned to their homeland, some being stateless and others holding the citizenship of Uzbekistan or other former Soviet republics; a 1998 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Uzbekistan simplified the process of renouncing Uzbek citizenship and obtaining Ukrainian citizenship
refugees (country of origin): 126,407 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015)
stateless persons: 6,182 (2016)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Ukraine is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Ukrainian victims are sex trafficked within Ukraine as well as in Russia, Poland, Iraq, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Seychelles, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Moldova, China, the United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, UK, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, and other countries; small numbers of foreigners from Moldova, Russia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Azerbaijan were victims of labor trafficking in Ukraine; Ukrainian recruiters most often target Ukrainians from rural areas with limited job prospects using fraud, coercion, and debt bondage
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Ukraine does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government’s focus on its security situation constrained its anti-trafficking capabilities; law enforcement efforts to pursue trafficking cases weakened in 2014, continuing a multi-year decline, and no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials were made, despite reports of official complicity in the sex and labor trafficking of children living in state-run institutions; fewer victims were identified and referred to NGOs, which continued to provide and to fund the majority of victims’ services (2015)
current situation: Belarus is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; more victims are exploited within Belarus than abroad; Belarusians exploited abroad are primarily trafficked to Germany, Poland, Russian, and Turkey but also other European countries, the Middle East, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Mexico; Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, and Vietnamese are exploited in Belarus; state-sponsored forced labor is a continuing problem; students are forced to do farm labor without pay and military conscripts are forced to perform unpaid non-military work; the government has retained a decree forbidding workers in state-owned wood processing factories from leaving their jobs without their employers’ permission
tier rating: Tier 3 – Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and was placed on Tier 3 after being on the Tier 2 Watch List for two consecutive years without making progress; government efforts to repeal state-sponsored forced labor policies and domestic trafficking were inadequate; no trafficking offenders were convicted in 2014, and the number of investigations progressively declined from 2005-2014; efforts to protect trafficking victims remain insufficient, with no identification and referral mechanism in place; care facilities were not trafficking-specific and were poorly equipped, leading most victims to seek assistance from private shelters (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook