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Session to discuss liberalization of visa regulations

By   /   January 11, 2018  /   Comments Off on Session to discuss liberalization of visa regulations

MIL OSI – Source: President of the Republic of Belarus – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Session to discuss liberalization of visa regulations

11 January 2018

It is essential to continue
facilitating visa regulations for foreigners in Belarus, President Alexander
Lukashenko said at the session held on 11 January to discuss the liberalization
of the visa regulations.The head of state said that the Belarusian
tourism industry has made big progress in recent years. This industry is one of
the most progressive industries today.“We offer a wide range of recreation options
and high-quality services for everybody today. The interest in Belarus is
increasing. In this regard, we have adopted a number of legal acts to
facilitate the entry to Belarus. However, we need to continue this work,” the
president is convinced. In his opinion, we should do our best to encourage
tourists to travel to Belarus and to persuade them that there will be no
problems with border crossing.Alexander Lukashenko said that visa
facilitation issues are important for Belarus just like for any other state.
“International tourism is vigorously developing all over the world, and we
cannot stand aside from these processes for many reasons. We can have a
competitive edge in this segment only if we work out an optimal regime of entry
for foreigners to Belarus,” the head of state emphasized.However, we should not forget about security,
he said. “For instance, the current migration policy of the European Union,
i.e. the absence of real control over the movement of refugees, already has
certain negative consequences. First of all, it leads to the growing terrorist
treat in the region. Therefore, when making certain decisions we must keep the
main thing in mind. It is the security of Belarusian citizens and of those
coming to Belarus at any moment. Security is the main priority, it is more
important than the money from tourism,” the president said.It is important to reconcile border-related
differences with Russia in 2018, Alexander Lukashenko said.The head of state remarked that the rational
and quite understandable actions of Belarus concerning the liberalization of
the visa regulations for foreigners arouse concerns of the partner in the Union
State.“In February 2016, the Belarusian-Russian
border got an unspoken status and is often called in the Internet and
everywhere ‘the strangest border in Europe’. Back then the Russian side began
the full-fledged passport control in relation to all people traveling by cars
and then by planes and railway transport without an official notification,”
Alexander Lukashenko stressed.The president said that the government, the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies concerned need to solve this
issue without involcing the head of state. “It is not normal when a border is
restored between the two brotherly states and nations. It took us more than 20
years to remove it. I don’t know who needs it,” he said.The Russian side is supposedly guided by
security reasons. “But what security reasons can be involved here if we have
common lists foreigners who are prohibited from entering the territory of the
Union State. Those who are on these lists cannot enter. Those who are not on
the lists can enter until they are not included. Therefore, all explanations
that the border is introduced because of what is going on here are groundless,”
the head of state said.Alexander Lukashenko added that the law
enforcement bodies of Belarus and Russia maintain very constructive systemic
cooperation. They conduct hundreds of serious and efficient joint operations.
“But one should understand that if Russia raises this issue it means that
certain concerns exist. We should have a dialogue with Russians on the issue.
We should not close from each other as it will be a bad example. Neither
Belarusians nor Russians will support and appreciate this,” the president is
convinced.According to the head of state, it is essential
to discuss in detail the disagreements with the Russian side and the measures
to reconcile them. “At the same time, it is important to address readmission
issues because illegal migrants are usually coming to Belarus via Russia. The
statistics shows it,” the president said. “We need to find constructive
solutions to these issues at the negotiating table. These issues must be solved
in 2018. We need to show a good example of co-existence between the two
fraternal nations and states to the whole world.”

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