MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – It is essential to continue facilitating visa regulations for foreigners in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko said at the session held on 11 January to discuss the liberalization of the visa regulations, BelTA informs.
The head of state said that the Belarusian tourism industry has made big progress in recent years. This industry is one of the most progressive industries today.
“We offer a wide range of recreation options and high-quality services for everybody today. The interest in Belarus is increasing. In this regard, we have adopted a number of legal acts to facilitate the entry to Belarus. However, we need to continue this work,” the president is convinced. In his opinion, we should do our best to encourage tourists to travel to Belarus and to persuade them that there will be no problems with border crossing.
Alexander Lukashenko said that visa facilitation issues are important for Belarus just like for any other state. “International tourism is vigorously developing all over the world, and we cannot stand aside from these processes for many reasons. We can have a competitive edge in this segment only if we work out an optimal regime of entry for foreigners to Belarus,” the head of state emphasized.
However, we should not forget about security, he said. “For instance, the current migration policy of the European Union, i.e. the absence of real control over the movement of refugees, already has certain negative consequences. First of all, it leads to the growing terrorist treat in the region. Therefore, when making certain decisions we must keep the main thing in mind. It is the security of Belarusian citizens and of those coming to Belarus at any moment. Security is the main priority, it is more important than the money from tourism,” the president said.
“We need to discuss all visa facilitation aspects in detail taking into account the global trends and to make an absolutely optimal and balanced decisions in the best interests of Belarus and, of course, of our neighbors. Belarus should not cause problems to its neighbors,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The government has prepared proposals regarding the liberalization of the visa regulations in Belarus. These, particularly, pertain to the period of stay for people who entered Belarus without visas via Minsk National Airport and their stay in the country without registration. Besides, plans have been made to introduce additional measures to ease up the entry to Belarus during the 2nd European Games in 2019. In the future, it is possible to introduce visa-free entry to Belarus for non-migration purposes for a certain period of time through any international border checkpoints for the citizens of a number of states.
Earlier Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree to extend the visa-free travel time up to ten days for foreign citizens who come to see the Augustow Canal Park, Grodno and Grodno District, the tourism and recreation zone Brest (Brest, Brest District, Zhabinka District, Kamenets District, and Pruzhany District in Brest Oblast and Svisloch District in Grodno Oblast).
Belarus has also signed agreements on visa-free stay for up to 30 days for the citizens of Qatar and the UAE, for up to 5 day via Minsk National Airport for the citizens of 80 states.
Investors and other people included in the lists compiled by the administration of the Industrial Park Great Stone can stay in Belarus for 180 days without visas. Besides, Ordinance No. 8 “Concerning the development of the digital economy” has introduced the ability to enter Belarus without visas for foreigners employed by the resident companies of the Hi-Tech Park and the founders of the resident companies of the Hi-Tech Park.More about President