Polish-Based Pro-Opposition Belarusian TV Starts Trial Broadcasting on Sirius

Text of report in English by Belarusian privately-owned news agency Belapan

Minsk, 9 July: TV Belarus, a Belarusian-speaking satellite channel of TVP (Poland's public television network) better known as Belsat, on 8 July began broadcasting via a Sirius 4 satellite system on a trial basis, Syarhey Pyalesa, the channel's spokesperson, told the Belapan news agency.

TVP and the Polish foreign ministry, which finances TV Belarus, signed an agreement on the establishment of the channel in April 2007.

TV Belarus describes its mission as providing "accurate and independent coverage of events in Belarus, Europe and the rest of the world."

Reporters based in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland contribute to the channel.

TV Belarus had previously used an Astra satellite [which can be received only with a large satellite dish]. Transmission by the Sirius 4 satellite is expected to enlarge the channel's audience in Belarus.

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in English 1327 9 Jul 08.