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Radio Sweden To End Broadcasting In Belarusian

(RFE/RL) -- Radio Sweden plans to stop broadcasting in Belarusian as of September 1, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

According to a statement by Swedish National Radio's international channel, the decision to drop broadcasting in Belarusian was made because Russian remains the major language in Belarus and, therefore, broadcasting in Russian to that country is considered sufficient.

Also, company representatives told RFE/RL that shortwave broadcasting is not effective.

Dzmitry Plaks, the producer of Radio Sweden's Belarusian programming, said that the decision might have been prompted by the current thaw in relations between the European Union and Belarus.

Plaks said the times have changed and other programs are needed for Belarus. Radio Sweden has been broadcasting in Belarusian since 2004.