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UK in Belarus

1st July 2016 Minsk, Belarus

Fionna Gibb

by Fionna Gibb

British Ambassador to Belarus

Exploring southern Belarus

I’d like to talk today about my visit to Belovezhskaya Puscha and Brest Fortress a couple of weeks ago. I went down on Friday by car arriving at the park in the early evening to be greeted by two women in traditional dress with salted bread and flowers, which is really nice. And then on […]

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8th June 2016 Minsk, Belarus

Fionna Gibb

by Fionna Gibb

British Ambassador to Belarus

Celebrating children

I wanted to talk to you today about a great event that we had yesterday which was Queen Birthday Party for children. It’s an idea that I had in March when I was finishing my Russian lesson. And at the school where I learned Russian at the weekend they mostly teach English to children here, […]

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24th March 2016 Minsk, Belarus

Fionna Gibb

by Fionna Gibb

British Ambassador to Belarus

6 weeks later

It has been just over eight weeks since my arrival and about six weeks since my last blog – perhaps that’s a sign of how busy a time it has been.  I’ve met Ministers, opposition leaders, civil society representatives, journalists, been to Vilnius for a conference, talked to students, listened to businesspeople, and of course, […]

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5th February 2016 Minsk, Belarus

Fionna Gibb

by Fionna Gibb

British Ambassador to Belarus

First two weeks in Belarus

Fionna Gibb meeting Vladimir Makey

Twenty years ago, on a posting to Ukraine, Belarus was this distant mysterious country lying to the north. My chief knowledge about Belarus was that it was badly affected by Chernobyl as the winds were blowing north at the time of the disaster. As I prepared to come here, I talked to people about Belarus […]

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2nd February 2015

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

British tourists or travellers – come to Belarus!

One of the great attractions of becoming a diplomat is the opportunity to live in different places abroad. Lots of people travel abroad but, unlike diplomats, they tend only to stay for a short period. I notice there is a lot of argument in cyberspace about the differences between “a tourist” and “a traveller”: I […]

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10th December 2014

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Human Rights begin at home

(on occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December) There is a time in life when we start learning from people younger than ourselves.  Perhaps that’s the best moment as a parent – when your children start telling you things you didn’t know.  We joke in Britain that you know you are getting older, when policemen […]

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7th November 2014

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Voice and choice

I come from a politically engaged family.  My parents were active in local politics and spent quite a lot of their spare time attending meetings or public events in support of their party.  I don’t think I ever really discussed with them why they were so interested in politics.  We talked more about what needed […]

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31st October 2014

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

A reliable source

One of the biggest changes in my working life has been in communication.  When I started working as a diplomat, we read newspapers, and had a “cuttings service” of news articles that were circulated on paper.  I read it days after it was first distributed. Today, I get my “newspaper” cuttings electronically, and they’re waiting […]

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23rd April 2014

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Shakespeare in 600 words*

On occasion of the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare He was born 450 years ago, possibly on the same day – the 23rd of April – that he died 52 years later.  He was the son of a merchant from Stratford, in the Midlands of England.  He probably attended the local school where he studied […]

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4th April 2014

Bruce Bucknell

by Bruce Bucknell

British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata

Black-and-white or shades of grey?

Reporting and assessing events in other countries is one of a diplomat’s prime functions.  We need to know about events, and then explain them to our governments. We have to explain complex events as briefly as possible and put them into a political and historical perspective.  Our political masters don’t have time to read detailed […]

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