MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) – Foreigners may be allowed to enter Belarus without visas via airports in Brest and Grodno as well as airports in Russia. The relevant amendments may be introduced to the Belarus president decree on visa-free travel procedures for foreign citizens, BelTA learned from Alexander Ganevich, Deputy Head of the Central Consular Office, Head of the Analysis, Visa and Tariff Policy Planning Office of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a roundtable session in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 11 December.
The official said: “We intend to enable visa-free arrivals in the airports in Brest and Grodno just like in the Minsk National Airport. We are going to discuss this matter when next amendments to the presidential decree are introduced.” In his words, the regional administrations are interested in it. The possibility will be evaluated this year or the next one.
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative also mentioned the 30-day visa-free arrival via any border checkpoint as a future possibility. He did not rule out the possibility will be reviewed once the Belarusian-Russian mutual visa recognition agreement comes into effect.
Work will be done to possibly expand the visa-free travel program onto foreigners, who reach Belarus via Russia. Now the option to travel in Belarus without visas after entering the country via the airport does not apply to foreigners, who fly from Russia to Belarus or intend to leave Belarus for Russia, since these flights are domestic with no border control procedures implemented. According to Alexander Ganevich, capabilities of the Minsk National Airport are the stumbling block now. Border control stations are needed in the airport's sector, which handles flights from and to Russia. “It is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests. We could expand the visa-free travel program onto Russia then. Foreigners would be able to leave Belarus for Russia or Russia for Belarus without visas absolutely legally,” he added.
Proposals have been made to merge the visa-free travel zones in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast. Once it is done, visa-free tourists would be able to reach Grodno without problems. The option is not available now.More about Society