7,000 Football Fans Travel Through Belarus To Russia for 2018 World Cup

Nearly 7,000 fans have passed through Belarus to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, the State Border Service Committee of Belarus said on Wednesday.

Most of them arrive by air.

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6,800 foreign fans have crossed Belarus on their way to or from Russia, BelTA reports on 20 June. Almost a third of them came from the neighboring Poland. The geography of visitors expands to 87 countries, including such distand states as the Comoros in the Indian Ocean, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guinea-Bissau.

On Monday the border officials reported 22 organized fan groups entering Belarus over the weekend.

Most fans cross the border via Minsk National Airport. Rail transport is the next in popularity, followed by traveling by road.

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Foreigners can transit to Russia through Belarus without visas from 4 June to 25 July. To cross the Belarusian border, they must present a FAN ID and a valid passport.

Upon arrival to Russia every foreigner gets a migration card that must be kept for the whole duration of their stay in the country. Upon crossing the state border of Belarus en-route to Russia fans should apply to representatives of the Belarusian border service for a migration card.

The two countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on visa recognition during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in May. The document allows foreign fans to travel through Belarus visa-free during the championship. Russia, in its turn, will introduce visa-free entry and stay on its territory for foreign fans attending the 2nd European Games in Minsk in 2019.

More than 150,000 foreign fans are expected to travel through Belarus for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.