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Belarus to Offer Visa- Free Travel

Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, signed a decree on Monday granting foreign citizens of 80 countries visa - free entry to the country for five days when flying through Minsk National Airport.

The visa-free entry applies to 39 European states, including all EU member countries, as well as the US, Japan and Brazil.  The rules apply primarily to the countries that are percieved as posing no migration dangers, are strategic partners of Belarus, or have themselves lifted visas for citizens of Belarus. It also applies to a special class of non-citizen residents of Latvia and Estonia, most of whom are ethnically Russian.

In order to enter Belarus visa-free, foreign tourists will need a valid passport or a travel document, valid medical insurance in Belarus, and a small amount of money to last the duration of thier stay (42 Belarusian rubles per day).

Citizens of Gambia, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa, Honduras, Vietnam and Haiti are required to have valid multiple entry visas for the Schengen Zone, with a mark of entry to territory and tickets confirming their departure from Minsk airport within five days after entry. For persons traveling to Belarus through flights routed through Russia, the visa-free entry does not apply.       

The long-term visa costs for European citizens were also lowered recently. Last year Belarus issued a visa-free entry for UAE, Chinese and Brazilian citizens.  Augustow Canal Park in the Belarusian region of Hrodna was also made a visa-free zone for five day visits, a move said to have attracted visitors from 20 countries.

The decree will go into effect after one month.      

by Nino Gugunishvili

10 January 2017 13:32