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23 Mar 2020

Nearly 3,500 Belarusians brought home thanks to Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nearly 3,500 Belarusians brought home thanks to Ministry of Foreign Affairs
An archive photo

MINSK, 23 March (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has helped nearly 3,500 Belarusians return to the home country, 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 that more than 3,450 Belarusians have already received assistance with returning to the home country. Within the last 24 hours groups of Belarusians successfully left Morocco, Vietnam, Ecuador, Israel, and other countries. A charter flight of the Belarusian air carrier Belavia is expected to pick up a group of Belarusians from the Vnukovo airport in Moscow today.

Meanwhile, about 1,000 Belarusians are still abroad and are unable to return home. For instance, some of them travelled to Germany by car. Ground transit via Poland has been closed, this is why they are advised to take the next direct flight to Belarus.

There are also problems with helping Belarusians return from Southeast Asia countries, in particular, the Indian state of Goa and Sri Lanka. “We are working hard looking for a way to resolve the situation in contact with the Russian side since the Belarusian citizens had been flown there by Russian air carriers and travel agencies. We are still evaluating various options, including sending more aircraft. However, we will need more time in any case,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also in negotiations with Russian colleagues in order to finalize the approval of additional ways (in addition to charter flights) for Belarusians to reach the home country via the Russian airports Vnukovo and Pulkovo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative pointed out that several flights had been arranged specifically in order to bring Belarusians home. For instance, Belarusians can fly home from Baku, Azerbaijan on 26 March and 30 March.

There are also several other things to consider. Vietnam banned foreigners from entering the country on 22 March. The UAE suspended all flights and transit via its territory for two weeks starting 25 March. The Brussels South Charleroi Airport will be shut down on 25 March. Belavia’s flights in this period will be cancelled. As of 23 March Turkey suspended air service with 68 countries. Permission to transit Lithuania has been extended till 00:00 on 26 March.

Up-to-date information will be available on regularly updated websites of Belarusian embassies and in social networks, including accounts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We would like to remind that calls, including roaming calls, to hotlines of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad are free for subscribers of the mobile carriers life:), MTS, and A1,” Anatoly Glaz concluded.

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