Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

What information is top secret in Belarus?

Euroradio

The Council of Ministers publishes the list of 'official information restricted for dissemination' in Belarus.

“Officials who took the decision to restrict access to public information and put "For Official Use Only" on documents shall bear the responsibility to justify their decision. A state official shall be held responsible for breaching the restricted access to information provisions, under the laws of Belarus,” says the government's resolution.

The document lists 114 positions divided into sections: Mobilization Matters, Science and Technology, Defense and National Security, Military and Technical Cooperation, Law-Enforcement, Indsutry, Energy, Transport, Foreign Trade and several others.

To make the long story short, it means that a simple man will never learn the country's foreign debt, because 'the amounts of delayed loan repayments that contribute to the Republic of Belarus' state debt and the foreign debt guaranteed by the Republic of Belarus' is a kind of information that is restricted for public access. Officials at the Ministry of Finance tell Euroradio that in principle this is not a top secret information. It is just not published so does not enter the public domain.

“This kind of information simply does not get published in media outlets or websites, if there is a legal provision for that," says the press office of Ministry of Finance.

Apart from state debts, it is also impossible to find out the number of people who serve in various law-enforcement agencies. The document also restricts public access to information about 'methods and ways to produce weapons and explosives', 'location of military bases and ammunition depots' as well 'information on how to make narcotic AND psychotropic substances.'

There are more wierd restrictions, too. For instance, the data about the number of bread products sold to the correction facilities is restricted. One can only be left guessing why this information is restricted.

The state secrets also include information about 'pharmalogical assistance to sporting medicine', 'state topographic maps in the scale of 1:200000 and 1: 100000 (1 or 2 km in one centimeter)', 'data about the operation of the National Bank related to particular transactions at the foreign currency market, the precious metals and stones market' and even the 'post delivery routes and itenaries.'