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31 March 2020, 19:03

UK, Sweden thank Belarus for helping their nationals return home

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – Taking into consideration new travel restrictions, including flight suspensions, implemented by many countries worldwide, it is becoming increasingly difficult to repatriate Belarusian nationals. However, despite the deteriorating situation, 5,300 Belarusians who asked for assisted departure have been brought home, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to bring stranded Belarusian nationals home, Belavia keeps flying to Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. “On 31 March a chartered jet operated by Belavia departed Istanbul with more than 70 citizens of Sweden, the USA and other countries on board. At present the only way they can get to Stockholm is through Minsk,” the press service noted.

U.S. citizens will also transit home via Minsk.

The UK thanked Belarus and Belavia for their decision to keep flying to the UK. Today this is one of very few opportunities for nationals of a number of countries to return home. “Many countries help each other in this difficult situation as much as they can. For example, taking into consideration the ongoing developments, the British side helped evacuate our national from a cruise ship in Brazil in transit to Belarus,” the press service noted.

One of these days Belarusian nationals stranded in the United Arab Emirates will be brought home.

Due to the decision of the operational headquarters of the Russian government to temporarily limit passenger air traffic in Moscow (no more than 500 people a day, only via the Sheremetyevo airport), this transit corridor is virtually closed for Belarusian citizens. In view of these restrictions, Belavia suspended scheduled flights to Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports.

The Belarusian Embassy in Russia is closely cooperating with its Russian counterparts to evacuate Belarusian nationals stranded in Moscow's airports by automobile transport of the embassy. “We have found the solution to the problem. We hope to achieve concrete results soon,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.

A number of Belarusians are still stranded in India (including the state of Goa), Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia. In the wake of the situation over transit via Moscow's airports, all involved Belarusian government agencies, including the Finance Ministry, the Transport and Communications Ministry, the Sport and Tourism Ministry, as well as Belavia and travel companies are searching for new ways to help Belarusians return home, looking into all possible options.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that a quarantine and a curfew (from 21:00 to 6:00) are in place in Georgia from 31 March.

The ministry also calls to follow updates on the websites and social network accounts of Belarusian foreign missions, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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