On the administrative and territorial division of Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast and Mogilev Oblast

Decree No. 136 of 5 April 2021

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed decree No. 136 “On the administrative and territorial division of Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast and Mogilev Oblast”.

The document specifies the boundaries of the regions and districts that were drawn back in the 1950s based on the cartographic material available at that time. “Over the course of time, these boundaries ceased to coincide with the solid contours of the terrain (rivers, reclamation canals, road networks, forests, clearings and others) due to land reclamation, land clearance operations, and construction of transport infrastructure,” the press service explained.

To rectify the borders, an advanced remote sensing technology was used, as well as new methods to obtain and process photographic images and to digitize the land cover.

In accordance with the decree, the new borders of Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast and Mogilev Oblast and their districts will be established on 1 July 2021.

Changes to the administrative and territorial division of the oblasts, districts and village councils will be reflected in the single register of administrative and territorial units of the Republic of Belarus. The borders of Gomel Oblast and its districts, which coincide with the State Border of Belarus with Ukraine, will be changed after the completion of the demarcation process.

By 1 December 2021, corresponding changes will also be made to the single state register of real estate, rights to it and transactions with it and the register of addresses of the Republic of Belarus. The introduction of these changes will be financed by the central budget funds earmarked for the State Property Committee to manage property relations, cartography and geodesy works.

No fees will be charged for issuing (registering) the document certifying the right to a land plot. Reduced fees will be applied for state registration of land plots, rights to them, restrictions (encumbrances) of rights to them and corrections to documents of the real estate register. Fees will also be reduced for preparing information for state registration and for making corrections.

Individuals, self-employed people and legal entities will be exempt from fees for making changes to documents containing information about their address.

The decree will not entail the need to notify state bodies about the change in the location of a legal entity, or the need to amend documents containing information about the address (constituent documents, certificates of state registration of self-employed people, special permits (licenses), documents on registration of citizens at the place of residence and place of stay and others). Changes to the documents will be made simultaneously with other changes in the cases stipulated by law, and (or) at the initiative of individuals, self-employed people and legal entities. 

The lease agreements for land plots, the boundaries of which are changed, remain valid until the termination of the lease term.

“In March 2019, a similar decree optimized the borders of Brest Oblast, Grodno Oblast and Minsk Oblast and their districts,” the president’s press service recalled.