Belarus; (Belarusian: Беларусь) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Belarus did not exist prior to 1917 being part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. Despite declaring independence in 1917 it was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1922 after losing much of its territory following the 1919 -1921 war between Poland and the Soviet Union. It’s current borders date from 1945.
Belarus declared independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, achieving independence in 1991. Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Belarus is an authoritarian, restrictive society, with limited freedoms when associated with its neighbours in the EU. Lukashenko has been elected President since 1994. Since 2014, Belarus has begun to distance itself from Russia which it historically had very close ties.
Border Facts: Belarus has 3642 km of land borders, which are shared with Russia, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia.
Belarus- Russia Border: is the longest shared border of Belarus being 1312 km long. The border was established in 1991. In 2011 Belarus and Russia formed a customs union and checks ceased on the border, although passport checks were sometimes undertaken. With Belarus introducing visa free travel to EU citizens in October 2016 Russia reestablished passport controls on the border. This has caused problems as some crossings have no control facilities and therefore it is necessary to enter Russia and exit Belarus at a designated crossing point.
Belarus – Ukraine Border: is 975.2 km long including 325.9 km by rivers. It starts from the BYPLUA tripoint to the west on the River Bug and stretches to BYRUUA in the east. Part of this area was contaminated after the Chernobyl disaster. It dates broadly from 1918. When both countries were part of the Soviet Union it was less significant than today. The border as is was formally confirmed in 1990 between the 2 republics and again as independent countries in 1993.
Belarus – Lithuania Border: The relationship between Lithuania and Belarus dates back to the period when they were both parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Both nations would later be part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. The Belarus–Lithuania border is an international border almost 679 km in length between the Republic of Belarus (CIS member) and the Republic of Lithuania (EU member) and also serves as an outer border of the European Union and the western border of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The border is defined by the treaty of February 6 1995 between the two countries. The ground demarcation of the border was completed in 2007. Since 2004 the border has served as the outer border of the European Union and since 2007, the Schengen Area.
Belarus – Poland Border: The border is 418 km long, the border begins in the south, at the tripoint formed with the Belarus-Ukraine and Poland-Ukraine borders. The river Bug forms the first third of the border, which is similar to the Curzon Line. It ends in the north, with the intersection of the borders of Lithuania, Poland and Belarus. The border is heavily monitored as an external EU/Schengen border.
Belarus – Latvia Border: The Belarus – Latvia border is 172.9 km long. It spans from the tripoint with Lithuania to the tripoint with Russia. The current border between the republics of Belarus (CIS member) and Latvia (EU member) was established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and confirmed in 1994 and again in 2013. For about 16.6 km, the border runs along the Daugava River. It also crosses the Lake Rychy and an island in the lake.
|1||BYLTLV||Belarus – Lithuania- Latvia||Dry||55°40’50″N |
|2||BYLTPL||Belarus – Lithuania – Poland||Wet||53°57’22″N 23°30’54,1″E||Deeleman (2015)|
|3||BYLVRU||Belarus – Latvia – Russia||Wet||56°10’12″N |
|4||BYPLUA||Belarus – Poland – Ukraine||Wet||51°30’29″N |
|5||BYRUUA||Belarus – Russia – Ukraine||Dry||52°6’44″N |
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