Sweden will use the name “Belarus” instead of the former “White Russia” in the Swedish language, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
“This is a recognition of the Belarusian civil society and the people who have long wanted to emphasize the national identity and sovereignty of their country,” Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde said commenting on the decision.
As of today, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs will use the name “Belarus” instead of “Vitryssland”, which can be translated as “White Russia” in its official contacts. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs also recommends using the name “Belarus” in Swedish from now on.
The Swedish side explained its decision with demands of the Belarusian civil society and the diaspora, and the need to emphasize the national identity and sovereignty of Belarus.
The decision was made amid the first visit of the Swedish foreign minister to Belarus since 1992 when an agreement on diplomatic relations between our countries was signed in Minsk.
This is the third time Belarus’ Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei met with Ann Linde after her appointment in September 2019. This is a record high for such a short period, the minister noted. The sides discussed the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission, ways to intensify work on the Belarus-EU partnership priorities, prospects for the framework agreement with the EU, Belarus’ accession to the WTO, development of the Eastern Partnership post 2020 and the regional security.
The “White Russia” is a historic term describing the territory of modern Belarus. The decision to drop this term, additionally to the intesification of contacts between the EU and Belarus, demonstrated that the EU bureaucracy and global elites affilated with it seek to put Belarus on Ukrane’s track. To achieve this goal they need to set conditions for geopolitical agression in the region. One of the current goals is to cut off the associative link between Russia and Belarus (the White Russia) in the public media sphere. Another point of pressure is attempts to fuel the local anti-Russian nationalism in Belarus.
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