It has happened! The meeting of the joint board of the Ministries of Justice of the Union State member-nations that took place the day before was marked, among others, by the solution of no less important a question for Belarus. Yes, exactly so – Belarus!
During the meeting Belarusian party raised the problem concerning abuse of the legal name of the Republic of Belarus. Deputy Minister of Justice of Belarus Alla Bodak paid attention to the lack of uniformity in Russian regulatory-legal documents (let alone mass media). “The Republic of Belarus is often incorrectly referred to as the Republic of Belorussia or shortly Belorussia,” she said. Meanwhile, the only correct variant of the name translated into Russian is the Republic of Belarus.
Russia ’s Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov apologized for his colleagues and promised that henceforth, when making an examination of regulatory-legal acts, his department will check whether Belarus is named correctly. He also promised to send relevant information reports to all state structures of the Russian Federation. At the same time the minister added that he would not be able to guarantee the use of the correct name in mass media. According to him, “it’s a purely technical issue which probably results from a historical habit”.
We would remind you that the name “the Republic of Belarus” was first fixed in the Declaration of Independence of 1990, and then in the Constitution of 1994, which means that our country has been named so for 19 years already. Besides that, this name is entered in the All-Russian Classifier of Countries (ARC) (approved and enforced by the decree of the State Standard of the Russian Federation of 14th December 2001 N 529- ст ). The Republic of Belarus (full name) or Belarus (contracted form) comes numbered 112 with index BY in the list of countries.
At the same time, practically in all Russian-language documents, both official and in mass media (and not only Russian at that), one can find the whole kaleidoscope of improvisations: Belorussia, the republic of Belorussia and even the Republic of Belorusia…
The issue “Belarus-Belorussia” is one of the most discussed in Belarusian-Russian segment of the Internet. And quite a lot of lances are broken over it. Meanwhile, a limited number of arguments is adduced, and mainly linguistic ones. Well, arguments are arguments, but what disputes are we talking about when all decisions have already been taken and approved on the highest level?
Nevertheless, all's well that ends well. We would like to thank the correspondent of Belarus’ First National Channel Pavel Tukhto who addressed this question to Dmitri Medvedev during his press conference in Barvikha. Without him the agenda of the board meeting of the Ministries of Justice could be one item shorter.