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18 Mar 2020

Many Belarusians face problems getting back to home country

Many Belarusians face problems getting back to home country
An archive photo

MINSK, 18 March (BelTA) – The introduction of tough restrictive measures on the entry of foreigners in a number of countries has resulted in a complicated situation for Belarusian citizens coming back home in transit via other countries, BelTA learned from Anatoly Glaz, Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The official said: “Since the acute phase began, as of today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad have provided assistance with the return home of over 1,700 citizens of our country. The figure does not include multiple requests sent to the embassies of Belarus in Russia and Ukraine. Today alone we’ve managed to secure the return of a group of over 400 Belarusian kids and the adults accompanying them from Lithuania after their rehabilitation in the Druskininkai sanatorium.”

The official said the situation with the return of a group of Belarusian citizens – 136 kids and accompanying persons – from a sanatorium in Jurmala, Latvia is closely monitored.

Another some 1,200 citizens are in the center of attention of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad. The number does not represent the number of Belarusians staying abroad but the number of those, who may need help soon. Another some 1,100 citizens of Belarus are abroad, including in remote countries, thanks to holiday packages bought from Belarusian travel agencies. A large number of Belarusians are now in Egypt.

“The situation remains complicated. At the same time there are no critical problems that may threaten the lives of the citizens at present,” Anatoly Glaz said. “We are staying in touch with all the Belarusian government agencies concerned as well as the Belarusian air carrier Belavia.”

Anatoly Glaz noted that Belavia does not intend to cancel flights on its own, including flights to European Union countries, and will continue bringing Belarusian citizens to Minsk. Direct flights to Paris, Berlin, Munich, Hannover, Prague, Budapest, and other destinations were mentioned. Belavia intends to offer Minsk-Vienna flights as from 29 March.

An agreement has been reached that Belavia will continue offering flights to Egypt till 31 March in order to secure the return of Belarusian citizens.

Citizens of Russia and other countries also use all the mentioned flights in order to return home.

According to the information available at present, on their way to Minsk Belarusian citizens can travel only via the Moscow-based airports Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that in order to get to Belarus via Moscow, Belarusians need tickets that will allow them to leave the airports Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo within 24 hours.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive detailed official information about how citizens of Belarus can travel in transit via Russian airports,” the official noted.

Work continues to find ways to resolve the situation caused by the refusal of Russian air carriers to take on board Belarusian tourists from Goa and Sri Lanka.

The Belarusian embassy in India is also collecting data about all the Belarusian citizens, who are staying in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and have been deprived of the opportunity to return home.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like all the parties concerned, including travel agencies and air carriers, to contribute to the resolution of the complicated situations.

According to the State Border Committee of Belarus, the number of citizens leaving the country remains considerable despite Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommendations advising against travelling abroad.

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