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Visa-free foreigners arriving in Minsk airport to be checked against Belarusian, Russian databases

Society 31.01.2017 | 15:47
An archive photo of the Minsk National Airport
An archive photo of the Minsk National Airport

MOSCOW, 31 January (BelTA) – Foreign citizens, who opt for a visa-free entry via the Minsk National Airport, will be checked against the special databases that Belarus and Russia have. The statement was made by the Belarusian expert in the area of national security Alexander Tishchenko during the video conference held on 31 January to discuss matters relating to the introduction of the five-day rule for visa-free entry to Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The expert drew attention to the fact that visa-free entry will be allowed only to the foreigners, who arrive via the Minsk airport. They will have to pass through security systems of the airport, the Belarusian border service, and the Belarusian customs service. “These people will be filtered by the relevant databases,” pointed out Alexander Tishchenko. “All the troublemakers in Belarusian and Russian databases will be checked. This is why claims that any troublemakers can enter Belarus and move on to Russia are far-fetched.”

Belarusian and Russian government officials have stated that the security procedures used to control the entry of foreign citizens will not be changed. “Such statements have been made by rather high-placed individuals,” noted the expert. In his opinion, Russian mass media tend to express stronger concerns about the decision to waive visas for entering Belarus for five days.

“The security systems built as part of the Union State of Belarus and Russia operate very well. Data is shared between all the services, not only the border service,” said Alexander Tishchenko.

Belarus president decree No.8, which comes into force on 12 February, allows citizens of 80 countries to stay in Belarus for at most five days without visas, provided they enter the country via the Minsk National Airport. The new regulations will apply to 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Canada, Japan, and other countries. The list includes primarily the countries without migration problems, Belarus' strategic partners, and the countries that have unilaterally lifted visa requirements for Belarusian citizens.

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