Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

EU tourists to enter Belarus without visa from 2013


In 2013, Belarus plans to introduce a visa free regime for tourists from the EU countries. So, as an experiment, in 2012 it’s suggested to simplify visa regime for any European country, such as Poland, for the sake of testing the mechanism, with subsequent abolition of visa requirements for the EU tourists in 2013, reported director of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism Vadim Karmazin.

"The decision to abolish the visa regime depends on the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As for the final decision, it will be made by the head of state," BelTA quoted the representative of the Ministry.

"Non-visa regime is one of the most important factors in the development of tourism, which becomes especially important on the eve of the World Championship in 2014 to be held in the Belarusian capital," says Vadim Karmazin.

However, the visa regime makes Belarus a less attractive direction in terms of tourism, as Poland and the Baltic countries can receive tourists from other EU countries visa-free, added the spokesman of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism.

On February 1, chairman of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek said the European Union didn’t cooperate enough with the Belarusian society, though wanted to "be closer". "Therefore, we must reduce or even abolish visa fee to keep in constant contact," said the head of the European Parliament.

"I want to stress the EU’s strategy of two roads. One way is for those who have power and are responsible for the situation in Belarus, as well as for the absence of democracy, disrespect for civil and human rights. And the other way is for the civil society," said Jerzy Buzek.