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09 January 2017, 18:42

Foreign partners expected to reciprocate Belarus' five-day rule for visa-free travels

MINSK, 9 January (BelTA) – The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes that reciprocal steps will be made after Belarus' decision to introduce visa-free entry for up to 5 days through the border checkpoint at the Minsk National Airport for citizens of 80 countries, including the European Union member states, Igor Fisenko, Head of the Consular Directorate of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, told reporters on 9 January, BelTA has learned.

“The EU visa rules were established by a decision of the 28 countries, and it is hard to expect them to undergo any changes following the decision of Belarus, one of the EU's neighbors. Still, we hope that the European Union will keep this move in mind and take some reciprocal steps towards the development of the relations between Belarus and the EU,” Igor Fisenko said.

He noted that Belarus has been steadily approaching this decision for several years. First, it introduced visa-free entry to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and later to the Augustow Canal. “This process has culminated with the decision that actually established visa-free entry to the country,” Igor Fisenko said.

As BelTA reported earlier, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 8 “On the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens” on 9 January.

The document introduces visa-free entry through the border checkpoint at the Minsk National Airport and visa-free stay in Belarus for up to 5 days for citizens of 80 states.

These are 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan, and other countries.

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