by Marianna Mkrtchyan
On July 3, the Embassy of Belarus to Armenia held a reception on the occasion of the Independence Day and 70th anniversary of liberation of Belarus from the fascist aggressors. Heads of diplomatic missions, high-ranking officials, entrepreneurs and other guests attended the reception.
Ambassador of Belarus to Armenia Stepan Sukhorenko pointed out that throughout the war the Byelorussian soldiers and officers displayed bravery and heroism and initiated a guerilla movement after the occupation of Belarus.
"The fascists committed over 500 villages and their residents to the flames for the Byelorussions' disobedience", said Sukhorenko. He recalled that the country was liberated due to the "Bagration" operation brilliantly conducted by the Red Army. Belarus had to restore its economy and production from the very beginning and this task was performed within a short period thanks to the support of the brotherly republics.
As regards the current relations with Armenia, the Ambassador said that they are dynamically developing in all dimensions and will keep strengthening after Yerevan joins the Eurasian Economic Union.
Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan congratulated the Byelorussian people on their Independence Day and on the 70th anniversary of liberation. He stressed that the crimes against humanity should never be forgiven. "We should do our best to prevent such crimes in the future", said Kocharyan.
Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus is a public holiday, the independence day of Belarus and is celebrated each year on July 3.
July 3, 1944 was also the liberation of Minsk, capital of Belarus from the Wehrmacht during the Minsk Offensive (code-named "Bagration"). Since 1991, the Independence Day has been celebrated on July 27, the day of the Declaration of Sovereignty of Belarus. August 25, 1991, after the August events in Moscow, the Belarusian SSR gave the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Republic the constitutional status of the law. On December 10, 1991 the Supreme Soviet of Belarus ratified the Belavezha Accords which formally declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Independence was formally received December 26, 1991 in connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The decision to celebrate Independence Day on July 3, the day of the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis, was made during the 1996 national referendum proposed by President Alexander Lukashenko.