Belarus has signed a deal with online-magazine Zvezda, which it will merge with Belarusian newspaper Internet Magazin Sportivnago, according to a report by the media agency BNN.
The Belarusian edition of Zvezdia will be renamed Belarusian online magazine Zvezdi, the report said.
The agreement, signed on March 3, will allow the Belarusian Internet Magazine to publish its news and information in Belarus and Russia.
Belarus has a population of about 25 million people and was formerly part of the Soviet Union.
Zvezdat, the Belarus-based digital newspaper, has more than 70 million monthly readers and a circulation of more than 5 million.
The online-content outlet is owned by the Belarus Ministry of Communications.
BNN reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Belarusian Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister and Communications Minister Alexander Baryshnikov, Belarus President Alexander Biryukov, Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belarus State-owned energy company Sibneft and Zvezdeniya’s chief editor and publisher, Andrei Belkov said in a joint statement.
“The merger will allow Belarusian magazines to continue to publish their content on the internet and to continue offering digital content to Belarusian readers,” they said.
Belarus is among several countries that have signed a pact with the Russian-based Zvezdeia to create a “new online-oriented media outlet.”
Zvezdoia, Belarus’s biggest online newspaper, was founded in 2012 by former journalists from Belarus’ largest news outlet Zvezdnosti, which was also founded by former reporters from Zvezdom’s biggest news outlet, Zveznosti.
Belarus signed the deal with Zvezdoskiy in 2016.
Zvadydia, the company that published Zvezdania, has also signed a contract with the Belarus National Internet Network and Communication Commission.
Belarus had a population that was about 5 million in the mid-1990s and today has about 25.4 million people.