MINSK, 17 May (BelTA) – Taking into account positive feedback and numerous requests of foreign nationals, the Belarusian head of state decided to extend until 2023 the visa waiver for citizens of Lithuania and Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus informed.
The simplified border-crossing procedure introduced earlier for citizens of the neighboring states expired on 15 May.
“This goodwill gesture by the Belarusian side clearly demonstrates our country's determination to maintain good-neighborly relations with these states, to facilitate contacts between ordinary people, even in the face of illegal sanctions against the Republic of Belarus. The introduction of the ‘visa-free travel' has shown a significant interest of foreign citizens in visiting Belarus. After a long break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our neighbors got the opportunity to meet with family members, visit graves of their relatives, and resolve everyday issues. As always, the demand for treatment and recreation tours remains high. It is no secret that during such trips foreigners can buy Belarus-made goods at lower prices than in their homeland,” the foreign ministry noted.
According to the ministry, it is gratifying that many of the visitors decided to pay tribute to those who died during the Great Patriotic War, visit historical memorials in Belarus that honors its heroes and remembers the lessons of that terrible tragedy, which is not the case in a number of the neighboring countries.
“Throughout the month, the number of visitors from the Baltic states has been steadily growing despite the blatant anti-Belarus propaganda by the authorities of Lithuania and Latvia and despite the disinformation about the situation in Belarus. It is surprising that the good undertakings of the Belarusian side were met with hostility by the officials of the neighboring states, and the people who visited Belarus were slammed for disseminating objective information about our country,” the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.
Taking into account positive feedback and numerous requests of foreign nationals, the Belarusian head of state decided to extend until 2023 the visa waiver for citizens of Lithuania and Latvia. “We are confident that this step will help citizens of the neighboring states to build an understanding of modern Belarus, its politics and economy, to get to know the culture of our people better. Such a constructive approach based on the interests of ordinary people first of all can serve as a guide for our Western neighbors for normalizing the relations and finding a way out of the difficult situation in the region,” the foreign ministry said.