2018 - Minsk‚ Belarus



Minsk, Belarus

11th August 2018

hosted by: Jan Syvertsen from Norway

                   Rune Moe from Norway         

                      Michal Dominik from Slovakia 

written by: Rune Moe from Norway

participants:   Jan Syvertsen from Norway

                                                                             Michal Dominik from Slovakia                                    

                                                                                Rune Moe from Norway

                                                                                Christer Danielsson from Sweden                      

                                                                                Karl from Austria

                                                                                Maciej Olbert from Poland

                                                    Heinz Ulrich Kammeier from Germany

                                                                                Stefan A Krosvik from Norway

                                                                                Anders from Norway

                                                    Dag from Norway

The 6th meeting of WLAS was completed in Hampton by Hilton City Centre Hotel, Minsk, Belarus.The decision on having the meeting in Minsk was decided at the 5th meeting in Belgrade 2017. As last year there were 10 members attending the WLAS-weekend. The special about this meeting was that for the first time we had a former world leader as a special guest; HE Stanislav Shushkevich, former President of Belarus, and his wife, HE Irina Shushkevich, former First Lady of Belarus.

Already on Friday evening all of us gathered at a local restaurant for a nice dinner and drinks. Some of us arrived Minsk already on Wednesday and Thursday and therefore we was recommended this nice restaurant. Saturday morning we joined in on a city bus tour which showed us mostly of the city attractions. After the tour, we had time to have the board meeting which was the first time all of the board members attending (President Jan Syvertsen, Rune Moe, Michal Dominik, Anders Tvegård and Heinz-Ulrich Kammeier). On Sunday, some of us had a nice bus travel to the castles of Mir and Nesvizh.


3 PM we met at the conference room at Belgrade City Hotel for the official meeting. President of the board, Jan Syvertsen, wished a warm welcome and was leading the meeting agenda. The whole meeting was a little belated, so we had to share it in two parts.

First action was a nice quiz made by Anders Tvegård. We split into small groups and the quiz was about identifying world leaders signatures. The winners was the team of Maciej Olbert and Heinz-Ulrich Kammeier.

Then the board suggested to be elected for 2 years and the WLAS-members agreed. It means this will be no topic at the meeting in 2019. The board for 2018-2020 will consist of the following five members: Jan Syvertsen (President), Anders Tvegård (Vice President), Rune Moe (Minister of Finance - new post), Michal Dominik and Heinz-Ulrich Kammeier.

Next topic was the WLAS-logo. Maciej Olbert was asked by the board to give us some examples of a logo. We had different logos to choose from and the new elected logo is on the front page in this report, with white letters on blue background and an umbrella on the top. A big thanks to Maciej for this contribution.

The board then presented a new rule for WLAS. We had some discussion about an annual fee for the members. We had some trouble before the WLAS meeting in Minsk regarding pre-paying dinners and conference room. It will be no troubles with future meetings when we have a small account which belongs to WLAS. The annual fee will be 5 Euro as a symbolic payment for all members. It will be an additional fee for members attending the next meeting in 2019, but it will not be necessary to pay before we ask for it (probably during summer 2019). The board elected Rune Moe as Minister of Finance.. This is something new for the society and we will evaluate this on the next board meeting in August 2019.

Then Henz-Ulrich Kammeier had an interesting lecture about German members of Bundestag and what they wrote or draw on their papers during meetings.

Time was running out, so our last topic before the meeting with President Shushkevich, was the election of the WLAS meeting 2019. This time we made it a little different. The members wrote each what city they wanted to choose. Then we picked only 3 cities, which was Zagreb, Sofia and Kiev. Then we had to think about which of those three cities we wanted to elect for the next meeting.

Part 2 of the official meeting was after the meeting with Mr. President Shushkevich, around 9:30 pm. First, Dag Mork had a very interesting lecture about Stalin and other Soviet Union leaders showing us some great documents.

Last topic was the election. We had to choose the city where to have the next meeting! The winner was SOFIA with 4 votes, Zagreb and Kiev got 3 votes each. So the next meeting will be in Sofia, Bulgaria 10th of August 2019.



Very excited about having a former President of Belarus to visit us, four of us was waiting for him in the hotel lobby 5 PM. Michal Dominik had organized the contact with Mr Shushkevich with the help of Slovak embassy in Minsk and Maciej Olbert was the one of us who could talk Russian, so they and Jan and Rune met the president and first lady when they arrived. Then we brought them to our conference room in the 2nd floor of the hotel where the rest of the members, families and friends was applauding when they entered the room.

Stanislav Shushkevich was the first head of state in the independent republic of Belarus from 1991-1994 and he also signed the Belavezha Accords together with Russian President Yeltsin and Ukraine President Kravchuk, which ended the existence of Soviet Union.

The first part was that he told a little about himself and his wife, and then we asked him questions, with a great job of Maciej Olbert, who translated from English to Russian and vice versa. We had a lot of questions and he was very patience and interested in telling his story. Some of the questions was filmed live on the WLAS Facebook group. After the questions Mr and Mrs Shushkevich received some gifts and flowers from us.

Then it was time to sign photos. He was very patience and signed all photos and documents. Then he was taking photos with us. The dinner was in the first floor in the hotel and we had a great time there. Mr Shushkevich showed us his book with included a lot of pictures with other world leaders. This will probably be translated in English and released some time.

After 4 hours gathering with WLAS, Mr and Mrs Shushkevich went home and they really appreciated our hospitality. Hopefully we will have a meeting with a world leader in Sofia in 2019 as well. We will work for it!



Mr. President Shushkevich and Mrs. Shushkevich, we all would like to thank you very much for your willingness to participate on our meeting in Minsk and to spend the wonderful time with us. We esteem and appreciate it very much. Thank you very much for photos and your autographs for our private collections as well as for this great experience. which we will never forget. We wish you all the best.

Господин Президент Шушкевич и г-жа Шушкевич, все мы хотели бы поблагодарить вас за вашу готовность принять участие в нашей встрече в Минске и провести с нами прекрасное время. Мы очень ценим это. Большое спасибо за фотографии и ваши автографы для наших частных коллекций, а также за этот большой опыт. которые мы никогда не забудем. Мы желаем вам всего наилучшего.