The city which is always close at hand_ by yaosaigeng


									2                                        FOCUS                                                                                                                                                           The Minsk Times Thursday, April 23, 2009

The city which                                                                                                                                                                                                               More joint
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Despite the economic

is always close                                                                                                                                                                                                              recession being seen in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             many countries this year,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Belarus and Lithuania
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             initiate new projects

at hand,                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Co-operation in trade and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             logistics, as well as the hotel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and restaurant business and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             roadside services, is especially

or the most eye-catching                                                                                                                                                                                                     interesting for both sides.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Lithuanian investors, regard-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             less of the crisis, are ready to in-

of Minsk’s sites                                                                                                                                                                                                             vest money into the Belarusian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             economy. The development of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             infrastructure surrounding the
By Olga Pasiyak                      compare to the 688-metre sky-                               deepest (20m below the surface)                                                                                             Avgustovsky Canal also looks
                                     scraper in Dubai (the world’s                               but an even deeper point exists                                                                                             promising, while Lithuanian
      Reading the Guinness           highest building) but is sure to                            in Minsk’s metro — between                                                                                                  supermarket chains are keen to
Book of Records, I suddenly          be impressive, being twice the                              the stations of Moskovskaya                                                                                                 stock up on Belarusian goods
felt sorry for Minsk. All highest,   height of the National Library.                             and Vostok (27m below). Of                                                                                                  (equal in quality to those from
most beautiful and most attrac-      19TH     CENTURY        BEAUTY.                             course, Oktyabrskaya can                                                                                                    Europe and China). Lithua-
tive sites are situated beyond its   Minsk’s oldest fountain was                                 hardly be compared with                                                                                                     nian Senukai plans to construct
suburbs. Nevertheless, there is      built 135 years ago — in 1874,                              Kiev’s Arsenalnaya — located                                                                                                stores in Mogilev and Grodno.
plenty to admire in the capital;     when a pipeline of spring                                   120m below ground. The                                                                                                           Belarus is interested in at-
it’s often called the cleanest and   water was launched. ‘The Boy                                situation may change in future                                                                                              tracting Lithuanian investors
most compact of cities. Al-          with a Swan’ still pleases those                            of course!                                                                                                                  to develop hotels, cafes, restau-
though its almost millennium         who sit beside it. It is not the                            FAR AWAY FROM THE                                                                                                           rants and rural guesthouses, as
old history was completely de-       largest fountain but is one of                              HUSTLE AND BUSTLE. Minsk                                                                                                    well as other tourist facilities.
stroyed during WWII, it was          the most beautiful. Located                                 is worthily known as a green                                                                                                Opportunities for business
fully restored in just a few dec-    in Alexandrovsky Park, near                                 city — owing to its many                                                                                                    collaboration will significantly
ades. Let’s look at Minsk’s most     the Yanka Kupala Theatre, its                               parks. The first appeared in                                                                                                expand once a document on
attractive sights…                   ‘1874’ inscription remains.                                 the early 19th century, initiated                                                                                           visa free travel for Belarusian-
ONLY CLOUDS ARE HIGHER.              LONG ROAD. The main                                         by Minsk Governor Zakhar                                                                                                    Lithuanian border residents is
                                                                                                                                     GEORGE SHABLIUK

One might think that the             difference between a small                                  Korneev in 1800 and launched                                                                                                signed.
National Library (73.67m)            and large city is that smaller                              five years later on the banks of
is the tallest building in the
capital. However, this is not
                                     cities are quicker to navigate.
                                     One avoids the frustration
                                                                                                 the Svisloch River (now known
                                                                                                 as Maxim Gorky Park). Two                                                                                                   Invitation
true. The 24-storey building
located on Melnikaite Street
                                     of so many traffic lights and
                                     queues when a city is compact.
                                                                                                 centuries ago, it covered 18
                                                                                                 hectares; it now occupies 28.
                                                                                                                                                                                             Minskers love their city        received
is almost 90m high. Until
the early 1990s, it hosted the
                                     Minsktrans’ Transportation
                                     Department tells us that
                                                                                                 It is home to trees local and
                                                                                                 exotic. In the 19th century,
                                                                                                                                                       (previously     known
                                                                                                                                                       Yekaterinenskaya) — built in
                                                                                                                                                                                   as      Revival’ award, notes the two
                                                                                                                                                                                           buildings were laid out in        with
Belbyttechnika        Scientific-    the longest route in Minsk                                  the words ‘take rest after work’                      1613 and located near Nemiga.       the mid-17th century. The
Production         Association;
now, it offers offices for rent.
                                     is serviced by bus number
                                     84      (Malinovka-Slepyanka)
                                                                                                 were placed above the entrance
                                                                                                 to the park — good advice for
                                                                                                                                                       However, historians say the
                                                                                                                                                       former Basilian Monastery is
                                                                                                                                                                                           monastery has preserved its
                                                                                                                                                                                           initial form while the church
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Medical Academy of
The views from the top are           — 48.9km — which takes an                                   modern city residents...                              also among the oldest (found        has been rebuilt several times,   Gdańsk keen to expand
unimaginable.                        hour to complete its full circle                            GUESTS FROM THE PAST.                                 on the opposite side of City        losing its originality. Mr.       contacts with Vitebsk
    A 45-storey business centre      (dependent on traffic flow).                                Finding the oldest building                           Hall on Svobody Square — it         Likhodedov also notes that        Medical University
is now being planned for Max-        UNDERGROUND.                                                in Minsk was a challenge.                             hosts various organisations).       private houses dating back to
im Tank Street, with construc-       Minskmetroproekt tells us that                              Architects believe it to be St.                       Vladimir     Likhodedov,     a      the 16th century have been            On meeting the General
tion already begun. It won’t         Oktyabrskaya station is the                                 Peter and St. Paul’s Cathedral                        laureate of the ‘For Spiritual      preserved in Minsk.               Consul of Belarus to Gdańsk,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ruslan Yesin, the Rector of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the Polish Academy, Janusz
Easing                               Hope for life lived to the full                                                                                                                                                         Morys, has proposed close
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             collaboration with the Bela-
life at the                          By Nadezhda Suprun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             rusian university. The educa-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tional establishments are to
border                               First paediatric kidney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             exchange groups of students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and teachers, with Vitebsk
By Valery Sidorchik                  transplants (from living                                                                                                                                                                Medical University then visit-
                                     relative) are a success                                                                                                                                                                 ing Gdańsk to outline further
Belarus, Russia and                  at Republican Centre of                                                                                                                                                                 plans for joint work. Mr. Mo-
Kazakhstan to harmonise              Urology and Nephrology                                                                                                                                                                  rys is especially interested in
customs legislation                  at 2nd Children’s Clinical                                                                                                                                                              studying the latest scientific
     The customs authorities of      Hospital in Minsk                                                                                                                                                                       developments conducted by
Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan            11 year old Stas Kovalchuk                                                                                                                                                         Vitebsk Medical University.
have met in the Gomel region         — suffering from a rare con-
                                                                           ALEXANDER RUZHECHKA

to tackle the use of IT at their     genital kidney disease called
borders. The Head of the Fed-
eral Customs Service of Russia,
                                     Fanconi’s Anaemia — is among
                                     the first children to have a suc-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Closer to
Andrey Belyaninov, notes that
further joint activities should
                                     cessful kidney transplant in
                                     Minsk. In 2005, doctors said he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             each other
result in a fully-fledged Cus-       was incurable; two years later,                                                                                                                                                         Minsk and Baghdad
toms Union of the three states.      his kidneys ceased to func-                                                                                                       Young patients doing well after operation             ready to establish regular
The Chairman of the State Cus-       tion entirely. For the past three                       swered that everything was fine                           sis since he was five.              with fewer risks. Previously,
toms Committee of Belarus,           years, he has endured daily                             and my husband was greatly                                     Transplant surgeon Oleg        children were sent abroad to          Air traffic uniting the two
Alexander Shpilevsky, tells us       peritoneal dialysis to keep him                         relieved.” The young boy used                             Kalachik, the chief specialist of   receive treatment — which         countries will become pos-
that customs tariffs between         alive. The operation was his                            to be taught at home — prior                              the Health Ministry for Neph-       was costly. The Republican        sible if Iraq is interested in
the countries are almost agreed,     last chance for a full life and his                     to the operation — but will now                           rology and Kidney-transplant        Centre of Urology and Neph-       organising flights to Belarus,
with final terms being techni-       parents were only to happy to                           be able to go to school and even                          Therapy, tells us that both op-     rology is providing operations    with Iraqi air carriers servic-
cally improved. An agreement         have the opportunity to donate                          realise his long-held dream of                            erations have been a success.       funded by the state budget,       ing the route rather than the
has been reached that cargo          an organ. Stas’ father, 48, was                         swimming in a lake.                                       The patients are stable and         offering real hope to children    National Airline Belavia. Iraqi
clearance at checkpoints shall       most compatible.                                             Another child, aged 10, was                          their new kidneys are function-     (22 are now on the waiting        partners are able to send staff
be reduced from 45 minutes to             Stas’ mother, Nadezhda,                            operated on using his 28 year                             ing as hoped. Mr. Kalachik ex-      list). “Another kidney trans-     for training at the Belarusian
just 7-10 minutes. Soon, cross-      speaks of her son and husband                           old mother’s kidney. His con-                             plains that kidney transplants      plant is planned for the com-     State University of Transport
border movement of goods will        with tears in her eyes, “On re-                         genital abnormality of the uri-                           for adults have come a long         ing months; we have a good        and at Minsk State Higher
be controlled online, allowing       gaining consciousness after the                         nary tract was diagnosed on his                           way in Belarus over the past        foundation of experience now      Aviation College. Belarus
information on goods in transit      operation, Vladimir phoned me                           sixth day of life; despite several                        two years, enabling doctors         and have well-trained special-    has also offered assistance in
to be shared in real time.           to ask how Stas was feeling. I an-                      operations, he has needed dialy-                          to start paediatric operations      ists,” asserts Mr. Kalachik.      training technical staff.

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