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13 Apr 2017

Belarus to extend visa-free stay for 2019 European Games guests

MINSK, 13 April (BelTA) – Belarus plans to extend a period of visa-free stay in the country for the guests of the 2019 European Games, First Deputy Head of the Belarus President’s Administration, First Vice President of the National Olympic Committee Maksim Ryzhenkov said during the open dialogue held at the National Olympic Committee of Belarus on 13 April to discuss the preparation of the Belarusian team of volunteers for the Second European Games, BelTA has learned.

“If we talk about the European Games that will last for some 10-12 days (the number of days including the arrival and departure of sports delegations and fans will be made known later), the period of the visa-free stay is most likely to be extended. It is still early to speak about the measures we are going to apply to do this,” Maksim Ryzhenkov said.

According to the First Deputy Head of the Belarus President’s Administration, there is a clear understanding that the guests and participants of the games should make the best use of the preferential treatment while entering and leaving the country. Foreign guests will be able not only to attend sports competitions or visit the fan zone but also will feel free to see different landmarks of Belarus, visit the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Novogrudok, Mir Castle and other beautiful places.

Minsk’s main advantage as the venue for the European Games is the city's well-developed sports and hotel infrastructure. There is no need to build any additional facilities. The logistics infrastructure is also great. “In the recent years we have demonstrated the world our ability and the readiness of our specialists and volunteers to host such events at a high organizational level. The 2014 IIHF World Championship was a tough exam for us and we passed it with honors. We can host such events,” Maksim Ryzhenkov said.

He stressed that Belarus is an open and friendly country, free from any national, religious or interracial discords. It is of great importance, since large-scale sporting events gather together representatives of absolutely different nationalities, religions and cultures.

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