Norway has Changed its Name for Belarus
Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt announced that Norway had officially changed its name (in Norwegian) for Belarus. Authorities in Oslo will now call the country "Belarus" and will not use the hitherto adopted name for the country Hviterussland, which literally means "White Russia".
The news was reported in the Norwegian media.
"We are doing this as a sign of solidarity with the Belarusian democratic movement, which insists that their country not be perceived as a continuation of Russia," the minister said.
The name change was approved on the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus.
"I am glad that on this day we can announce the name change and express our solidarity with the democratic forces in Belarus," the Norwegian Foreign Minister said.
She said she had personally called Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who she considers Belarus's democratic leader, and informed her of the name change.
"She was happy and thanked for the decision," said Anniken Huitfeldt.
In 2019, the Swedish government also announced that it would officially use the name Belarus instead of Vitryssland ("White Russia"). This was aimed at emphasizing the country's sovereignty and the national identity of Belarusians. In 2021, Denmark also began to officially call the country Belarus.
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