Cultural intelligence

Belarus – concede and proceed

The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991.

More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian and the country has two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Roman Catholicism has a much smaller following, although both Orthodox and Catholic versions of Christmas and Easter are celebrated as national holidays.

Belarus is somewhat isolated from Europe due to its lack of press freedom and recent elections which have been declared by the US and other western nations as not free and fair.  The country was also severely affected by the fallout from the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986.

Bureaucracy is still cumbersome in Belarus so it is important to plan ahead. Make appointments in good time, ideally through a third party who can act as a guarantor for you. It should be someone with a good reputation and a network of business associates, who can introduce you to the top executive of the company with which you want to trade. A local lawyer would be ideal.

Belarussian negotiators aim for concessions, so be prepared to accede to some requests to keep the negotiations moving forward.


Share your Belarussian business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia,, Kwintessential

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