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Text 1. Belarus Read the text and do the exercises that follow it.

Study the following vocabulary before reading the text:

to border (on) – граничить

flat – плоский

an auroch – зубр

a meadow – луг

fertilizer – удобрение

fibre – волокно

a fodder harvester – кормоуборочный комбайн

to rank – занимать какое-л. место

representative – представительный

legislative – законодательный

executive – исполнительный

an anthem – гимн

1. Geographical situation

Belarus is divided into 6 regions: Brest, Vitsebsk, Gomel, Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev. The capital of the republic is Minsk, one of the most beautiful and modern youthful looking cities with the population of over 1,5 million people.

Belarus is very well geopolitically located. It is situated in the heart of Europe where all roads meet. The country stretches for 560 km from north to south, for 650 km from east to west bordering on Russia in the north and in the east, on the Ukraine in the southeast, on Poland in the west and on Lithuania and Latvia in the northwest.

The population of Belarus is almost 10 million.

Most of Belarus is a flat country. It is the land of forests, fields, meadows, rivers. The largest rivers are the Dnieper, the Nieman, the Sozh and the Pripyat. Belarus is also a lake country. The largest lake is the Naroch, 80 square km. The third of Belarus is under forests. The largest forests are Belovezhskaya, Nalibokskaya and Grodnenskaya. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is famous for its aurochs (European bisons).

The climate of Belarus is influenced by moist winds blowing from the Baltic Sea. The climate varies from maritime to continental. Summer is the hottest season of the year. Winter is the coldest. The temperature is sometimes very low, about 20–25 degrees below zего. The warm days of autumn are called “Golden Autumn”.

2. Industry, agriculture, science

Belarusian industry plays the major part in our economy. Our country is one of the biggest manufacturers of fertilizers, fodder harvesters, tractors, trucks, buses, chemical fibres, commercial wood and other products. Such famous brands as “Horisont” and “Vityaz” producing TV-sets, “Atlant” refrigerators and “Belarus” tractors enjoy world popularity. The “Gefest” gas stoves produced in Brest are widely spread all over European and Asian countries.

Agriculture in Belarus specializes in milk and meat production. Potatoes, flax, grain, herbs and vegetables are cultivated here.

Belarus is a country of well developed science. A great contribution to the development of the national economy is made by the scientists of Belarus. There is the Academy of Sciences with numerous research institutes which work on various topical problems in such fields as mathematics, optics, spectroscopy, energetics, genetics, biology and other branches of learning. About 37 higher educational establishments and about 400 professional schools train highly qualified specialists for various sectors of national economy.

3. Political set-up

Officially our country is called the Republic of Belarus. It is a sovereign independent state with its government, constitution, state emblem, flag and anthem. The Declaration of State Sovereignty was adopted on July 27, 1990.

Belarus is a presidential republic. The highest executive power belongs to a President elected for a five-year term. The parliament, which is the National Assembly, is known as a representative and legislative body of the country. The Parliament consists of two chambers: Representatives and Soviet of the Republic. The executive power is performed by the Council of Ministers headed by a Prime Minister who is appointed by the President of the Republic.

Nowadays the Republic of Belarus is a founder-member of the United Nations Organization (UNO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It has its permanent representatives in the CIS, UN, UNESCO and in other international organizations.

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