Belarusian Journal of International Law and International Relations 1999 — N 3


International Law

Towards the Completion of the Decade of International Law

International Law in National Legal Systems — Ludmila Pavlova

International Law and Domestic Law

Foreign States Property Immunity from Enforcement Measures — Ruben Galstyan

Human Rights

The Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Refugees" in the Version of 1999 — Does it Solve Old Problems — Larisa Vassilieva

Protection of Children in the Periods of Armed Conflicts — Oleg Starovoitov

Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

Mixed International Arbitration and Its Legal Nature — Andrey Popkov

International Economic Law

Theoretical Aspects of the Instrument Guarantee Institution in International Law — Alevtina Kamelkova

International Private Law

Some Problems of International Legal Acts Realization in Domestic Law — Yulia Kudryavets

International Relations

Community Socio-cultural Connections of Belarus and Germany in the 90s — Andrey Rusakovich

The Results of BNR Diplomacy — Tatiana Pavlova

International Relations of the Belarusian Orthodox Church: a Brief Review — Leonid Fedotov

International Economic Relations

Experience of Interstate Economic Integration for the Commonwealth of Independent States — Elena Davydenko

Transnational Corporations Development Trends in Modern Conditions — Ludmila Klimovich

Growth of Interdependence in World Economy and Necessity of Coordination of External Economic Policies — Nakhli Sharbel

Taiwan and Asian Financial Crisis — Khe Kin Phong


English Summaries

“International Law in National Legal Systems” (Ludmila Pavlova)

The article explores the role and place of international law in the legal system of states on the basis of analysis of national implementation legislation.

The author classifies constitutional implementation mechanisms by the following criteria: a) recognition of monist of dual approaches to the correlation of international and national law, b) applicability of international legal norms in the domestic sphere depending on their juridicial nature: agreed norms, common norms.

The study of the states’ constitutions content shows that fixation of norms of the international law has become an integral part of all constitutions. An absolute majority of states are monist oriented and recognize the norm of international law to have either the status equal to the norm of national law or the priority over the national law.

The article underlines that the issue of the role of international law becomes particularly acute when considered in the context of law application practice in national courts.

The complexity of this issue lies in the fact that the possibility of application depends on the objective and content suitability of the international agreement for the national legal administration bodies. The majority of agreements in the sphere of international public law are not suitable for direct application in national legal sphere (i. e. they cannot be self-executing).

Direct application is extended only on the self-executing norms of international law which should meet the following requirements:

1. To have the status of norm of the law independently of its legal nature (agreed, general, resolution of international organization).

2. To be oriented in the content on the application of national law by the subjects (natural and juridicial persons).

3. To have direct force on the territory of the state without need to specify the domestic act.

One should bear in mind the limited sphere of action of self-executing norms that are used in cases of lacunae in national legislation or collisions with national norm, if it is admitted by the constitution or another law.

Besides, the general nature of the majority of self-executing norms of international public law allows the law enforcement bodies to use them only for the establishment of law violation.

National courts also have restraining influence on application of international legal norms. The courts traditionally adhere to their legal system and are sometimes not able to reveal self-executing norms due to insufficient awareness in thesphere of international law. Therefore, the states that have an implementation mechanism which admits direct action of international legal norms give the right to the Constitutional Court or other higher judicial bodies to interpret international agreements or generally recognized norms with the aim of definition of their self-execution.

The article pays special attention to the analysis of the role of international law in the legal system of the Republic of Belarus.

The implementation mechanism of realization of the norms of international law was fixed in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus of 1994 for the first time. According to the Constitution the priority of generally recognized principles of international law is recognized and provision of the corresponding legislation of the Republic of Belarus (Art. 8) is ensured.

However, the legislation of the Republic of Belarus adopted in 1993—1999 gives evidence of recognition of priority not only of general norms (generally recognized principles) but also of agreed norms.

The law on international agreements of the Republic of Belarus, passed in 1998, stated that «generally recognized principles and norms of international agreements of the Republic of Belarus which came into force are part of the law which acts on the territory». Indeed, the latter should be directly applied, except the cases when the international agreement states that the adoption of domestic act should take place for the adoption of these norms. Similar provision is fixed in new civil code of 1998. Thus, the Republic of Belarus declares not only the priority of norms of international law but also the possibility of their direct action on its territory and application in the courts’ law enforcement practice.

With the abovementioned statements in mind, the author makes the following conclusion on hierarchical correlation of normative acts which are part of legal system of the Republic of Belarus: 1) generally recognized principles of international law; 2) Constitution; 3) ratified international agreements; 4) laws, decrees, edicts of the President, international obligations of the Republic of Belarus stemming from the agreements not subject to ratification and general norms of international law; 5) acts of interstate formations; the Republic of Belarus is a member of sublegal normative acts adopted by the Supreme Council, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Economic Court, the General Procurator.

The hierarchical system of the norms, that are part of the legal system of the Republic of Belarus, doubtless proves the decisive influence of international law on the reformation of the legal system, the international law having mostly indirect influence. This can be proved by the whole process of modern legal norms aimed at bringing the legislation into accordance with international commitments.

Some laws, including the new criminal code of the Republic of Belarus of 1999 allow of the possibility of combined regulation and application.

The given provision is common for the practice of the Constitutional Court, which often uses international and domestic legal criteria for the definition of the legality of the disputed normative acts.

The article stresses the fact, that there are few cases of application of international law in the Constitutional Court and none in other bodies, though the implementation mechanism of the Republic of Belarus guarantees their application in national legal proceedings. It can be explained by the contradictory and imperfect nature of constitutional and other legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

In accordance with the Constitution and the Law "On the judicial system and the status of judges in the Republic of Belarus" of 1995, no court in the Republic of Belarus, except the Constitutional Court, can apply the norms of international law.

Thus, there is an obvious contradiction between the previous provisions of the legislation, which admit direct application of the norms of international law, and the absence of constitutional rights in the national courts for their application.

The granting of the right to the Constitutional Court to control the correlation of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus to ratified international agreements will not solve this issue because citizens have no right to appeal to the Constitutional Court in case of the violation of their rights. The powers of the Court concerning application of the norms of international law are quite controversial and incomplete: the Constitutional Court can be quided only by ratified international agreements. This excludes from the Court’s law enforcement practice those international treaties of the Republic of Belarus that come into force from the date of their signing and does not correspond to Article 15 of the Law «On international agreements of the Republic of Belarus» of 1998 that interprets the norms of all international agreements, which have already come into force and not only of those, ratified as a part of national legislation.

Besides, the fixation of the principle of applicability of the international agreement by courts of the Republic of Belarus will create many problems, however significant for the Belarusian judicial system it might be.

Firstly, legal consequences of the recognition of the implementation of the international treaty as a source of national law are not clear. The questions is: whether the principle of correlation of previous and following normative act is applicable (the following law repeals the previous one) in the case of an international agreement and the following law with the same object of regulation.

Secondly, the possibility of application of international agreements by the courts of the Republic of Belarus becomes more complex due to Belarusian judges being professionally not prepared to apply international legal norms, especially, when it is the case of identifying self-executing agreement. Here the judges’ lack of awareness about international obligations of the Republic of Belarus is quite a significant  obstacle.

In this situation, taking due account of successful experience of application of ratified international agreements of the Republic of Belarus, the author, believes that the Constitutional Court could assume powers for definition on self-execution of international treaties.

The author concludes, that despite all difficulties arising during direct action of international legal norms in domestic sphere, their status as sources of national law in practically all countries proves wide recognition of international law and its decisive influence on the development of national norms.

“Foreign States Property Immunity from Enforcement Measures” (Ruben Galstyan)

The article is devoted to the analysis of the principle of states’ immunity from enforcement measures as an independent component of the general principle of immunity of the state. The article also draws attention to the realisation of the given principle in international treaties and national practice.

The article grounds the necessity of the restriction of the states’ immunity from enforcement measures, since in the opposite case the restriction of jurisdictional immunity of the state will be devoid of its logical conclusion and final sense.

The decisive role is played by the correct choice of the criterion of application of enforcement measures in regard of the property of the foreign state. In this connection, the article cites the most controversial cases that lack a single approach both in legal practice and national laws on the immunity of the state.

With due consideration of the given contradictions, the author analyses from the critical point of view Articles 18, 19 of the draft of the Convention on jurisdictional immunity of the states and their property developed by Commission on International Law, and also states that the inclusion of the property of the central bank of the foreign state into the property category, that is provided safety from enforcement measures creates a certain disbalance in regard to the mutual respect of interest of the states and individuals (Art. 19 (1)(c)). This disbalance is also evident in point «c» of paragraph 1 of article 18 that requires the obligatory connection between the subject of the action and commercial property of the foreign state in the state of court as a condition of application of enforcement measures.

“The Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Refugees" in the Version of 1999 — Does it Solve Old Problems?” (Larisa Vassilieva)

The article examines the provisions of the new wording of the law "On Refugees" (1999) on the basis of comparative analysis with the norms of international legal  instruments norms (in particular, the Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951) and the first version of the given law (1995)).

In stating her opinion on improvement of the mechanism of the refugees’ rights provision, the author adheres to the principles of the monist conception of the correlation of the international and national law and supports the opinions of those researchers who recognize the international legal norms to be self-executing in case there are lacunae and contradictions in national legislation.

The new version of the law "On Refugees" defines the main concepts for the aims of the new legal act (Art. 2); extends the list of the constraints in the operation of the law (Art. 3); specifies the competence of the national agency of the state department of migration (the Committee on Migration at the Labour Ministry of the Republic of Belarus) and the local bodies on migration (Art. 5); and also the measures on the law enforcement (1993) within the framework of cooperation with other governmental bodies (Art. 6); it also sets out in detail the procedure of processing the application for registration as a refugee (Art. 7).

Besides, Art. 9 determines the consequences in case of the refusal to register the application for the refugee status; Art. 19 — the implementation of measures on the distribution and accommodation of the foreigners applying for the refugee status and the foreigners registered as refugees on the territory of the Republic of Belarus; and Art. 18 — financing of the expenditures related with the implementation of the law (1999).

While noting the correspondence of the definition of the concept of “refugees” in the law "On Refugees" (1999) to the content of the concept in Art. 1 of the Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951), the author substantiates the necessity of extending this statement, singling out a separate category of refugees — the citizens of the former USSR.

These people can be recognized as refugees, owing to the existence of ethnic and armed conflicts on the territory of the country of his citizenship or permanent residence. Such a step, in the author’s opinion, would give these persons a more advantageous legal status of the refugee and a wider range of social, civil, political and other rights.

The author proposes to exclude the right of the competent bodies of the state to refuse to register the application for the refugee status, for it artificially creates the conditions for the illegal stay of refugees on the country territory.

The author states that in absence of detailed mechanism of control of the refugees’ stay and the enforcement of deportation the time limit as the means of regulating the stay is ineffective.

The law sets apart the refugees from the general mass of foreigners in legal qualification of their illegal stay on the territory of the state which expresses the essence of the protection the persons seeking asylum from general legislation and the compliance with the international standards of the treatment of refugees. At the same time, this legal document limits the right of the category of migrants to the assistance of the national agency of the department on migration in the form of getting information of the relatives, resident in the country of citizenship (the former usual residence).

On the whole, the law "On refugees" (1999) defines not only the subject areas for the legislation subjects to implement the executive powers in the given sphere of social relations, but also gives all interested parties the possibility to demonstrate their initiative and creativity in organization and management aimed at developing provision mechanisms for the realization of the rights of the peoples seeking asylum.

“Protection of Children in the Periods of Armed Conflicts” (Oleg Starovoitov)

Despite the wide recognition in the international law of the necessity of protecting civilian population, including children, this problem has acquired special urgency now. The analysis of new wars shows that new types of conflicts have appeared. They are characterised by gradual blurring over the line separating combatants and civilians as the subjects and objects of the war, increasing of the economic factor role (that side wins, which succeeds in being the first to destroy the economic potential of the adversary which means striking not military installations and facilities only). This also presupposes improving military  technology (the destructive scope of modern weapons makes its selective use difficult — Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Angola etc.). As a result, most of the casualties in modern armed conflicts is made up by civilian population, including children as its most vulnerable part.

The issue of legal protection of children in international humanitarian law was raised after World War II. The 1949 Diplomatic Conference in Geneva saw the adoption of 4 Geneva Conventions on the protection of the war victims. The fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilian population in war provided legal protection to children in the period of international armed conflict.

The fourth Geneva Convention envisages general protection of children as persons not participating in hostilities. According to the Convention, children as part of civilian population are covered by all provisions pertaining to the treatment of protected persons, which determine the main principle of humane treatment, including respect for the life, physical and phychic integrity and human dignity. The Geneva convention also contains special provisions on the protection of children from the consequences of warfare: establishing special safety zones for children under 15, the right to priority evacuation from siege zones, the priority right to food, medical treatment during occupation or internment, reunification of families and banning death penalty for persons under 18 (Articles 14, 17, 23—26, 38, 50, 68, 76, 89).

Two Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions were adopted at the Diplomatic Conference of 1977: Protocol I pertaining to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts and Protocol 2 pertaining to the protection of the victims of armed conflicts which do not bear international character.

Additional Protocol I clearly formulated for the first time the principle of particular protection of children in international armed conflicts: "Children shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected against any form of indecent assault. The Parties to the conflict shall provide them with the care and aid they require, whether because of their age or for any other reason" (Art. 77). Additional Protocol carries also a similar provision pertaining to armed conflicts of non-international character. Article 4 (3) states that "children shall be provided with necessary care and help". The Additional Protocols also regulate the issue of children  participating in hostilities. The Protocols envisage that all feasible measures shall be taken to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 do not take a direct part in hostilities (Art. 77 (2) Protocol I, Art. 4 (3) Protocol II).

Thus, both the Geneva Convention and the Protocols provide the children with general and special protection in armed conflicts, regardless of their character  (international or non-international) and of whether the children participate in hostilities or not.

1989 saw the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. International humanitarian law is referred to in one Article (38). Article 38 of the Convention states that States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities. States Parties shall also refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of 15 years into their armed forces.

Article 38 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has almost completely reproduced Article 77 of the Additional Protocol I. As a result, even before the Convention came into force, work on the Optional Protocol in the Convention has started, according to which, the age, referred to in the Article, was to be raised to 18. The Committee of the Rights of the Child at its third session worked out a Draft Optional Protocol consisting of the preamble and 10 articles. According to Article 1, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 18 do not take direct part in hostilities. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of 18 into their armed forces (Art. 2). However, this Draft has not been adopted yet and is under discussion.

The Republic of Belarus has joined all main international agreements in the area of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977. Belarus has also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. By this it has committed itself to implement the norms of international humanitarian law into national legislation. In 1997 the Commission on Implementing International Law at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus was established.

Belarus has no laws specially regulating protection of children in armed conflicts. There is a number of provisions on this issue in the legislation, regulating the legal status of certain categories of population: the Law "On the Rights of the Child", the Law "On General Military Service Liability and the Military Service", the Law "On Refugees", the Criminal Code and the Code for Criminal Procedure.

“Mixed International Arbitration and Its Legal Nature” (Andrey Popkov)

The concept of international arbitration has being evolving for centuries from pre-classical antiquity to present time. As a result of this long historical process, we can indicate three types of arbitration: public international arbitration on the matters of public international law; private (commercial) arbitration for settling commercial disputes with the participation of nationals of different states; and arbitration between states and private parties.

In traditional sense, there are no problems with determining the legal nature of public or private arbitration and outlining their distinguishing features. The problems arise when we deal with arbitration between states and private parties (individuals or legal persons). It is difficult to define its legal nature, as it is beyond the established scheme of interstate and private arbitration. Meanwhile, it borrows properties from both public and private arbitration. Hence, this type of arbitration is often defined as mixed international arbitration.

The distinctive peculiarity of mixed arbitration is granting to private parties direct access to international arbitration process. This peculiarity stipulated the resolution of international disputes with the participation of private parties with respect to national law, public and private international law.

The modern arbitration practice knows two forms of mixed arbitration: pre-established (institutional) mixed arbitration and ad hoc mixed arbitration.

First of all, provisions about pre-established mixed arbitration are contained in the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States, 1965. The unique pattern of using ad hoc mixed arbitration is the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established in 1981 pursuant to the Algiers Accords.

To clarify the real role and status of modern mixed arbitration the above arbitration models are included in the scope of the present article.

Close attention is paid to the regime of the enforcement of arbitral awards rendered by this arbitrations. The awards of mixed arbitration are implemented on the territories of States parties as if it were a final judgment of  national courts. If States do not comply with the awards, these awards may be enforced by means of public international law (diplomatic protection, recourse to International Court of Justice and others).

The subject of mixed international arbitration is not properly investigated  in the national and foreign science of international law. In this context, the article and the view on the problem proposed by the author may be conducive to its study.

“Theoretical Aspects of the Instrument Guarantee Institution in International Law” (Alevtina Kamelkova)

The article presents an analysis of theoretical aspects and evolution of the institution of an investment guarantee against non-commercial risks.

The relevance of the problems concerning the protection of property rights of aliens and the treatment of foreign investment exported from the home (capital-exporting) State to the legal conditions of the host (capital-importing) State grows proportionally to the evolution of the global investment process. In the doctrine of international law there is so far no uniform position concerning the obligation of the State as a sovereign to be responsible before the private investor for the damages arising due to realisation of the sovereignty.

The Western capital-exporting countries and the USA traditionally proceed from a principle of the complete responsibility of the host state, and the maximal protection to the foreign investor ("international minimum standard" theory). The Latin American countries declare absence of the right to privileged protection of the foreign investor, and also that the sovereign host state should itself determine the standard of its responsibility (Calvo doctrine). Decolonized countries of Asia and Africa in its position emphasised the absence of the right to obligatory protection; the state gives such right at its own discretion; it also determines a measure of the responsibility. The state a priori was not responsible to the foreign investor, according to the position of the former socialist countries; the restriction of their rights was perceived as an indisputable prerogative of the host state.

Development of the international investment market gradually smoothes over the polarity of the given positions. The former Soviet countries seek to ensure legal balance in relation to the foreign investor through improving the internal legislation and participating in the international investment treaties. In particular, the Republic of Belarus has concluded the agreements on investment protection and promotion with 25 countries. In addition, more than 30 treaties on trade and economic cooperation grant to the foreign investors a most favoured nation treatment.

Nevertheless, the responsibility of the state-importer of the capital is still rather relative, as it is not fixed by any rule of universal international character. Thus, the necessity of representation of foreign investors’ interests at a due international level became evident. In this respect it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the institution of an investment guarantee.

The institution of an investment guarantee is perceived by the theory of the international economic law as a public category broaching questions of the international policy in sphere of economic cooperation and development. This institution is the original instrument of the state or community of the states (in case of MIGA), which aims to facilitate the process of international economic stabilisation, to encourage the inflow of foreign investment capital in the developing countries, to reorganize the centers of accumulation of the world capital and to overcome the negative factor of economically backward regions.

The investment guarantee represents the mechanism of insurance of the investments by national, regional or international organization covering a part of damage caused in the third country to the foreign investor by political risks coming, which can be economically negatively reflected on the investments.

The term "political risks" covers all illegal or discriminatory actions committed by any host state, as well as by its structural divisions, which counteract realization by the proprietor of his rights concerning investment property or deprive him of the opportunities to dispose of it. The political risks are classified into: the risk of expropriation and similar measures, the currency transfer risk, the breach of contract risk, the risk of war and civil disturbance, the risk of insolvency, acts of discriminatory character and the risk of devaluation or depreciation of currency. The article presents the legal characteristic and analysis of the given group of investment risks, as the basic element of the institution of an investment guarantee.

Owing to the rather prompt development of the international system of realization of an investment guarantee, the research of the nature of the given institution is becoming increasing by urgent.

From the beginning of the sixties within such international economic organizations, as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and also UNCTAD and the European Union, discussion was held about the creation of the mechanism of realization of the international investment guarantee. In 1974 at a regional level Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation was founded. Limiting their operations to the framework of the investments flowing to the Arab countries, the corporation has become the first successful experience of functioning of the international guarantee structure.

However, real progress in the development of the institution of the international investment guarantee has been the Convention on Establishment of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. It has come into force on April 12, 1988 after being signed by 126 state-participants of the World Bank, and also Switzerland.

According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers from May 22 of 1992 № 306, the Republic of Belarus joined the number of international economic organizations in the World Bank system, including MIGA. Belarus subscribed to 233 shares of the authorized capital of the Agency. In 1998 the amount of its financial participation in MIGA made up to 2,5 million US dollars. Thus, the Republic of Belarus is the full-fledged member of the given international economic organization, and potentially, it can be one of the major factors of its attractiveness for investment.

During ten years of MIGA’s successful operation, as the fifth specialized affiliate to the system of IBRD, the number of its participants has extended up to 145 countries (17 are in process of fulfilling of the entry requirements). The total number of beneficiaries from the international guarantee has made about 120 developing countries.

Thus, the development of the institution of guaranteeing of investment activity at the international level is quite successful and represents a real opportunity for the world community to achieve stable balance of its political and economic affect.

“Some Problems of International Legal Acts Realization in Domestic Law” (Yulia Kudryavets)

The issue of means and forms of realization of international agreements and obligations undertaken by the states in their domestic law has both theoretical and practical nature. This problem is solved in judicial literature with the help of the so-called "transformation theory", according to which the realization of international legal forms in domestic law should be performed through the legal act of the corresponding state, i. e. between the signing of an international treaty and its regulating influence on the subjects of domestic law there should exist an act of the state admitting such influence.

The transformation mechanism has already been clearly worked out in domestic legislation and law enforcement activities. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that transformation is not the only way of national legal implementation, which is regarded as an aggregate of methods of executing the norms of international acts in national law of separate states. The unification of legislative systems, carried out either through conclusion of international treaties, that have unified norms, or through adoption of model legislative act, has much in common with transformation, therefore can be regarded as one of ways of implementation.

Law harmonization is a much broader concept than the unification of legal norms and can be defined as the interaction of states aimed at the achievement of harmonious interaction of various legal systems. The law unification is treated as norm development activities of the state, resulting in the establishment of uniformity of legal regulation of certain social relations, with the unification serving more general objectives of law harmonization.

The process of improvement of implementation methods of the norms of international acts into domestic legislation of states is not completed yet. International cooperation gives new means of implementation, which require further theoretical study.

“Community Socio-cultural Connections of Belarus and Germany in the 90s” (Andrey Rusakovich)

The author studies the main directions of development of community socio-cultural connections between Belarus and Germany in the 90s. He also gives characteristics to the policy and approaches of the leaders of both states towards development of socio-cultural connections and analyses the legal treaty base in this sphere. On the basis of large factual material the author showed the main directions of community socio-cultural cooperation: humanitarian connections in the sphere of overcoming consequences of the Chernobyl disaster; actions aimed at reconciliation and strengthening of mutual understanding of both nations; links between the twinned cities; cultural events (days of culture); literary, artistic, musical links, scientific, educational contacts, etc.

The author believes that socio-cultural connections formed in the 90s between the peoples of Belarus and Germany has become an important factor of development of cultures of both nations.

“The Results of BNR Diplomacy” (Tatiana Pavlova)

In the very first month after declaring sovereignty the government of the Belarusian National Republic (BNR) took a number of steps in establishing its own diplomatic service, which is an important attribute of statehood. This task was very complicated and there were several reasons for this. Firstly, the government — the National Secretariat — was not recognized by the German occupation authorities. Secondly, the members of the Rada and its Central Executive Committee were not full-time professional politicians. There was little funding to cover government expenditures. Thirdly, the governing core of the BNR lacked the international relations experience; there was not a single Belorussian career diplomat in the BNR. Meanwhile, the challenges which faced the BNR and its creators were primarily diplomatic: influencing the Brest-Litovsk Treaty negotiations to ensure Belarusian interests, establishing relations with German authorities and striving for their recognition and eventually achieving the diplomatic recognition of the BNR by other powers.

The creators of the BNR well understood the complexity and importance of foreign policy tasks. From the very first the composition of the Central Executive Committee included the position of the National Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Participation in the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk can be regarded as the first step of Belarusian diplomacy. The Executive Committee of the First All-Belarusian Congress sent to Brest-Litovsk a delegation which included A. Tsvikevich, S. Rak-Mikhailovsky, I. Sereda with the aim of securing Belarus’ interests at the talks. It is these peoples who can be regarded as the first Belarusian diplomats in the XXth century.

Such a form of diplomatic activity as sending official delegations abroad ranked practically first in the BNR in 1918. Due to the lack of qualified diplomats the BNR leaders preferred sending abroad extraordinary missions with specific tasks for short periods of time.

In April 1918 an extraordinary delegation was sent to Kiev where it established the Belarusian diplomatic mission. The delegation worked at establishing a joint Belarusian-Ukrainian Commission on the demarcation of the state border between Ukraine and the BNR; it also prepared a draft of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Belorussian National Republic, which was planned to be broadcast over the radio to all European capitals. In autumn 1918 extraordinary missions were organized, which travelled to Kiev, Warsaw and Vilnya. On October 20 the Ministers Rada of the BNR sent a delegation to Berlin and Berne, charged with the task of trying to achieve independence and maintaining German troops on Belarusian territory. This aim was also pursued by the delegations sent to Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, France, Bulgaria and Czechia. These delegations with the memorandum of the leadership of the BNR and the booklet of Professor M. V. Dovnar-Zapolsky "The Foundations of the Statehood of Belarus" published in Belarusian, Russian, German, French and Polish tried to get their motherland to be recognized and helped.

Some truly distinguished people were included into the delegations — A. Tsvikevich, I. Lyosik, V. Lutskevich, Professor M. Dovnar-Zapolsky and P. Trempovich. Every one of them was well-educated, knew foreign languages and had a certain experience of political activity.

Almost from the first days of its existence the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs began diplomatic correspondence, which could be called the main form of existence of diplomatic offices.

The Rada and National Secretariat developed great work abroad besides the governmental one. In the summer of 1918 diplomatic consular missions of the BNR were established in Ukraine — in Kiev and Odessa, in the south of Russia — Rostov, on the Caucasus — in Stavropol and in Lithuania — in Vilnya and even in Moskow.

The results of the diplomatic activity of the BNR in 1918 are the following:

— establishing contacts with foreign governments;

— participation in (and preparation of) international conferences with the aim of drawing attention to the situation in Belarus, to the necessity of preserving the country’s integrity in its historical and ethnographic borders;

— information and promotion work;

— establishment of diplomatic missions and consular offices on the territories of foreign countries and the exchange of missions.

1918 was merely the first stage in the foreign political activity of the BNR. Its achievements made the foundation for the international activity of the BNR leadership abroad.

“International Relations of the Belarusian Orthodox Church: a Brief Review” (Leonid Fedotov)

The article presents reference information on the development in 1989—1999 of international relations of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, the most influential confessional unity of our state. The author makes the first attempt of research into the problem.

First of all the author turns to the peculiarities of the treatment of the term "external or international relations" concerning the policy of the Church. In this case the term denotes the inter-church cooperation on theological issues aimed at establishing interconfessional peace among the churches belonging to different branches of Christianity and at better understanding between the Orthodox sister-churches, this cooperation approaching “people diplomacy” in its objectives and forms. According to the author, two factors now affect the development of international relations of the Belarusian Orthodox Church: firstly, administration by Moscow patriarchate, the exarchate being an administrative division of the Russian Orthodox Church, and, secondly, the position of the Belarusian Orthodox Church as the leading confessional body of the independent state.

Part 1 draws special attention to the importance of interconfessional dialogue in the form of theological meetings and talks for achieving peace and understanding between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox churches. Part 2 shows the dependence of the development of the relations with local churches on a number of factors which might seem subjective, such as personal initiative of several clerics. Part 3 proves that the Belarusian Orthodox Church has gained a lot of experience of international cooperation in sphere of social service and education. The special significance of this sphere lies in its being addressed to all citizens of our state who are in need of help. The leading role in the development of this direction of international cooperation belongs to public Orthodox organisations and educational establishments who are entitled to independent relationships with their foreign partners, both ecclesiastical and secular. Part 4 is devoted to the development of contacts between the Belarusian Exarchate and the diplomatic missions of foreign states in the Republic of Belarus. These contacts are mostly the tribute of regard for the Orthodox Church, through they can sometimes become the working ones.

The author is guided by the official position of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and leaves it for the reader to evaluate the facts cited.

“Experience of Interstate Economic Integration for the Commonwealth of Independent States” (Elena Davydenko)

The article is devoted to the currently topical issue — economic integration of sovereign states. It studies the prerequisites of the integration, economic and non-economic effects and also the main steps of the integrational process.

The article notes, that there are more than 30 integrational formations in the world today which are at different stages of integrational process. The European Union is the most developed and successful integrational formation, being a certain model for trialling some elements of integration.

This study gives a comparative analyses of economic agreements concluded within the framework of the EU and the member-states of the CIS. It shows that the process of customs "disarmament" of sovereign states, and the unification of national legislation requires a long period of time. The European Union has experienced more than 40 years of development from separate customs formations towards a single customs space. Besides, it is stated, that the stage of deficit economy and non-convertible national currencies was passed by each state of the EU separately. The process of economic integration of sovereign states started from such level of economic development, which the republics of the CIS still have to reach.

The study concludes by practical recommendations for the development of interstate economic integration of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“Transnational Corporations Development Trends in Modern Conditions” (Ludmila Klimovich)

Globalization process in world economy causes the evolution of Transnational Corporations (TNC) strategies, new forms nad features of their activities. In the 90s the growth of direct foreign investments (DFI) leaves  international trade behind, therefore, the main trends of development of international companies can be primarily seen through the DFI issues. The analysis of DFI regional distribution, their scope and the dynamics of growth gives the following regularities: most developed countries play the leading and dominant role in this process. They are not only the donors but also the recipients, proving the general conclusion of close dependence of the DPI activity index on economic development level of the country. The characteristic features of the 90s is the boom of DFI in Asian countries. However, the integral index of TNC transnationality in the developing countries is much lower than in the top 100 biggest TNC of the world. DFI still have a low index in African states. In Africa today many western companies count on keeping the same level of profit or even on its growth due to control measures that are not connected with property but are based on the advantages in the sphere of technology, administration and marketing.

DFI flows into Central and Eastern Europe are unstable. Generally speaking, the policy strategy of western TNC in these countries can be explained by the well-known theory of «the life cycle of the product» by Vernon, according to which one can determine the basic stages of development for the international enterprises in Eastern Europe and the CIS. It also shows the forms of internationalization activities of Belarusian enterprises. The experience of external economic policy of some of these enterprises proves the possibility of gradual winning of Western market through various forms of export organization: e. g., the availability of consignation warehouses hear direct customers, establishment of joint ventures in Western Europe and the USA. This allows to reduce the cost of the goods due to optimal export and import activities.

As for branches, TNC get more and more involved in the services and infrastructures, mostly telecommunications. In this segment, companies are required to establish from the very beginning foreign affiliates, which could render their clients the services needed. Telecommunications development provides the growing "transportability" of information services, e. g. information processing and book-keeping.

Export companies are characterized by the transfer of certain internal functions to the independent companies of transnational type, e. g. logistics is a characteristic one.

TNC investment activity, especially in the developing countries is characterized by the frequent use of new internationalization forms: granting licenses with technologies; company administration, franchizing, subcontracts for the production deliveries from abroad. With regard to world experience, the basis of process of transnationalization of Belarusian companies can be: high technologies, skilled personnel (researchers, qualified specialists with comparatively low salaries), production infrastructure, transit position between Eastern Europe and the CIS, and the establishment of Belarusian TNC in the CIS countries.

“Growth of Interdependence in World Economy and Necessity of Coordination of External Economic Policies” (Nakhli Sharbel)

The article analyses new trends, shaping in world economy, and their influence on the formation of foreign economic policy of separate states. Special attention is paid to the growth of interdependence of the states on the basis of the growth of international trade links, mobility of production factors and also on migration crises and process of property internationalisation.

The growth of different types of interdependence creates a range of issues. Their solution is impossible without the coordination of external economic policies between separate countries and groups of the states. Among them there are the problems of external debts, currency and migration regulation.

The author comes to a conclusion that the structural and economic changes during the last 20—30 years have substantially influenced the direction of foreign economic policies of separate states, including the Republic of Belarus and other post-socialist states, that are increasingly involved in world economy.

When the course of external economic policy is being chosen, the interdependence growth factor makes it necessary to take into account the mutual influences, especially on the part of the neighbouring states and the groups of states, which are most influential in world economy.

“Taiwan and Asian Financial Crisis” (Khe Kin Phong)

The article exposes the factors, which affected to the largest extent the relatively stable economy of Taiwan during the financial crisis and its consequences.

Particular attention is devoted to the historical and economic peculiarities of the emergence and development of Taiwan economy and also to the economy’s orientation at the "planned free economy" strategy, with a happy combination of planning and market levers, well-balanced development of import substitution and export goods production, with active attraction of foreign investments.

Positive effect towards economic stability and flexible adaptability of the economy was achieved through the correctly elaborated process of gradual financial stabilisation with the use of the floating currency exchange rate.

The article concludes that despite certain difficulties the ability of Taiwan to resist the shocks of the financial crisis may serve to prove the adequacy of the economic policy, which meets modern requirements of flexible adaptable market economy with able state regulation.

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