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20 January 2017, 13:03

Belarus president dispels fears over five-day visa-free travel rules

MINSK, 20 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that the introduction of the five-day visa-free travel rules for citizens of 80 countries that enter Belarus via the Minsk National Airport poses no risks for Belarus and its neighboring countries, BelTA has learned.

“The document was in development for a year and a half. It was thoroughly reviewed by all the government agencies, first of all, in terms of the potential risks it may pose for Belarus, our partners and neighbors,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the relevant information campaign that had unfolded in mass media. “Sometimes I get surprised as I read comments by these authors. These people either do not understand the essence of the document or stir up tension on purpose. Most probably, they do this deliberately. The abolition of visas does not mean cancellation of border control. It will remain in place. The traveler's identity will always be checked. Same as in Russia: you show your passport and have it checked with a computer. If everything is fine, you can enter the country for five days. If there are any problems, the computer will show it right away,” the Belarusian leader said.

“Therefore, the indignant complaints from some neighboring countries are just an attempt to demonstrate the dissatisfaction of certain parties. We have not violated anything from the standpoint of our domestic legislation. We act within our sovereign rights. We have not broken any agreements with other countries,” Alexander Lukashenko pointed out.

“We strictly follow all our agreements. If our move has caused concern to Russia, I always say: I wish your border guards serve as well as the Belarusian ones do. You need to work hard to reach the level of control ensured on the Belarusian border,” the Belarusian head of state said.

“They should accept this calmly and get focused on their own work. I understand why they are doing it. Despite the fact that it took a year and a half to develop the document and get it past all our neighbors, including Russia. This is what I can say in response to all these claims,” Alexander Lukashenko added.

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