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14.05.2014

House of representatives counts 3.5 million Belarusians living abroad 26

15:21, — Society
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House of representatives counts 3.5 million Belarusians living abroad

The Belarusian parliament approved a bill on Belarusians living abroad.

The document passed second reading, BelTA reports.

Viktar Fiasak, deputy chairman of the standing committee on international affairs, said presenting the document that it would contribute to the rapprochement of Belarusians living in the country and those living abroad for various reasons. About 3.5 million Belarusians and their descendants live outside Belarus, according to different estimates.

The document gives a clear definition of the Belarusians living abroad. They are citizens of the Republic of Belarus who permanently reside outside Belarus. The foreign citizens and stateless persons residing permanently outside Belarus, if they themselves or their direct ancestors were born or resided in Belarus, will be classified as Belarusians.

Another category is the foreign citizens and stateless persons permanently residing outside the Republic of Belarus and identifying themselves as Belarusians (in terms of ethnic affiliation with the Belarusian nation or language, culture, historical ties, knowledge and conservation of Belarusian traditions and customs), the MP said.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said last year the number of Belarusians living abroad was 1.5-2 million people.


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