The choice of countries, for which Belarus introduced visa-free entry, was not accidental. The country is committed to becoming open virtually to the whole world, Head of the Consular Directorate of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Igor Fissenko said in an interview on Belarus 1 TV channel.
He noted that Belarus has been steadily approaching this decision for several years. First, it introduced visa-free entry to Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park in Brest region, and later to the Augustow Canal recreation park in Grodno region.
“This process has culminated with the decision that actually established visa-free entry to the country,” Igor Fisenko said.
What is more, Belarus hopes that European states will reciprocate.
“The EU visa rules were established by a decision of the 28 countries, and it is hard to expect them to undergo any changes following the decision of Belarus, one of the EU’s neighbors. Still, we hope that the European Union will keep this move in mind and take some reciprocal steps towards the development of the relations between Belarus and the EU,” the official noted.
He explained why visa-free stay is limited to 5 days.
“It is the period, during which foreign citizens do not have to register with the local police department. Thus, the foreigners, who choose to enter Belarus via Minsk National Airport, won’t have to bother about formalities such as visas or registration,” said Igor Fisenko.
On Monday, 9 January, Belarus President signed a decree that allows visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries. The decree will come into force one month after its official publication.