Russian only: Minsk shop refuses to employ Belarusian-speaking sales assistant


The Belarusian business might be gradually, but quite successfully shifting to the Belarusian language, but there are still persons who consider it unfit even for domestic department stores and shops.

Twitter user Jahor Tubielievič posted screenshots of his corresponding with a representative of of the Adidas shop located in the Korona-Zamok mall in Minsk.

If the screenshots are anything to go by, when applying for a job in the shop, the man was asked about the language he uses daily.

“Well, if you are interested in the job and ready to speak [only] Russian [at work], come to us for an interview,” the representative answered when he found out that his interlocutor was Belarusian-speaking.

When asked whether his answer was tantamount to a refusal, he answered: “Nothing personal.”

Eduard, the manager of the shop, is ‘not against the Belarusian language’, but ‘no one speaks it at their place’, he said when reached by

“This is our decision. We decided not to hire Belarusian-speaking [persons]. I wanted it that way. Our assistants do not speak so [in Belarusian], and I decided that we would recruit those who ‘do as the Romans do’. Every organisation has its own standards. I am authorised to deal with such issues singlehandedly,” Eduard said.

The retail director of SPORTgoods, the official representative of Adidas and Reebok in Belarus, told that he was not aware of the situation.

“It is not a formal decision of the company,” Pavel, the retail director of Adidas shops in Minsk, added. He promised to look into the situation by the end of the week.

Human rights activist Valyantsin Stefanovich states that the Belarusian law does not regulate the use of language between two individuals, but a company’s refusal to employ someone only due to the Belarusian language is inadmissible.

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