MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei has hosted a traditional meeting with foreign ambassadors and heads of representative offices of international organizations on the occasion of New Year and Christmas celebrations. This year the diplomats have been given an opportunity to take a closer look at the Belarusian IT industry represented in this case by the game developer Wargaming, BelTA has learned.
Vladimir Makei, his spouse, and Wargaming's co-founder Vladimir Kisly welcomed the guests in the company's office in Minsk. The environment was cozy, warm, and nearly homelike – the guests were welcomed near a beautiful fir tree and a stylized fireplace adorned with gifts. Heads of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations and their spouses – all in all over 80 people – turned up for the occasion. Many brought their entire families and kids. They presented not only traditional flowers but symbolic gifts as well.
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes in practice such meetings allow comparing notes and discussing plans for the future in addition to giving foreign diplomats an opportunity to get a closer look at life in Belarus just outside the sphere of their professional interests. In previous years they had opportunities to get familiar with places and facilities that reflect the country's tourism, sport, and industrial potentials.
Vladimir Makei said in his speech: “Only the country that uses the full potential of information technologies can be successful in the modern world.” He noted that Wargaming Company has been a recognizable Belarusian IT brand for a long time and rightfully symbolizes the opportunities and prospects for the development of high-technology business in Belarus.
Vladimir Makei also admitted he plays World of Tanks but have had too few opportunities to do it over the last year. “Although war is in the game's description, the gameplay includes no violence or blood even in scenes featuring combat action. It seems to me the company's work in this regard fully coincides with diplomatic efforts and helps unite citizens,” the official said.
Vladimir Makei drew attention to the social projects Wargaming Company implements. He jokingly said that communism, which arrival was prophesied for a long time in the USSR period, has virtually come true for the company employees since the company pays good salaries and offers excellent employment benefits.
The verity of Vladimir Makei's was amply justified as the diplomats went on a tour of Wargaming's mini town – it is the term the company uses to describe its office. Apart from working space it has a gym hall, a sauna, and small kitchens with a selection of foods on each of the 16 floors. Employees can use them for free.
Asked whether he had managed to surprise the diplomats, Vladimir Makei responded: “Many approached me and said it was a very interesting place, an interesting policy of the company. The most important thing for us is to allow diplomats to learn more about Belarus through participation in these events, through visits to enterprises and companies. We will continue hosting such events in the future because they benefit Belarus.”
It is also important that diplomats get together with their families ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations. It does not happen often in their line of work. “Diplomatic service often separates spouses, who have to attend different events,” noted Vera Polyakova-Makei, the wife of the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs. “My husband and I are in favor of families getting together after all, particularly ahead of New Year celebrations.” She said that her husband and son play video games but both lack time to spare for such entertainment. “Certainly, our kid loves gadgets. For instance, he knows all the bloggers and dreams of getting their autographs just like all kids actually,” Vera Polyakova-Makei noted. “But he is very busy with studies, rehearsals, performances and does not have much time for playing with gadgets.”
After the tour of the Wargaming office the guests were treated to some food and drinks. In addition to Belarusian draniki (potato pancakes) they could sample pike perch stuffed with vegetables and almond nuts, patty shells with duck meat and apples, steam-cooked young chicken rolls with anchovies, gammon of chicken and spinach.
Vladimir Makei offered his Christmas and New Year greetings to the diplomats. He wished them good health, happiness, and success. He wished their countries prosperity and peace. Vladimir Makei noted it had been an interesting year full of events and visits. “I am grateful to you because together we've worked to advance our relations, do something more to ensure peace, security, and stability in our region and the entire planet,” the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs said. “I cannot say we've managed to do everything. A lot has yet to be done. Unfortunately, we've been unable to fully overcome differences of opinion and confrontations.” Raising his ceremonial glass of champagne, he offered a toast: “To friendship!”More about Society