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Opinions & Interviews

3 Feb 2017

Lukashenko gives travel tips for five-day stay in Belarus

Lukashenko gives travel tips for five-day stay in Belarus

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko named attractions that might be of interest to tourists who will come to Belarus for a five-day visa-free stay as he met with the members of the public, representatives of the Belarusian and foreign mass media on 3 February, BelTA has learned.

“What do tourists need? To see something new. Belarus can offer this. We have things that we are proud of,” the Belarusian head of state said.

“Some wonder what kind of country Belarus is. They will come and see. We welcomed thousands of people during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, and they left Belarus in a good mood and with positive impressions. Belarus is not about buildings and infrastructure, the country is first of all about its people,” Alexander Lukashenko pointed out. He said that Belarusians can name hundreds of attractions to visit in Belarus.

The head of state believes that tourists will likely be interested to visit Brest Fortress, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, Lake Naroch, the Pripyat River, Mir Castle and many other attractions. Belarus has preserved its nature, and not every country shows such a caring attitude to it, Alexander Lukashenko stressed. Tourists would also be interested to visit Minsk. “We are ready to show all these to the world. And the main point is to show that there is such a country, and that it is open to everyone,” the head of state emphasized.

As for the period of allowed visa-free stay, Alexander Lukashenko said that five days might be too short a period. “However, this is how we do this in Belarus: carefully, at a half-step pace.”

The Belarusian leader noted that Russia was aware of the decree on visa-free travel. “They are not honest when they claim that ‘Lukashenko has launched visa-free travel that is unfavorable for us and that we knew nothing about’. You should never believe this,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president pointed out that he is particularly concerned about protecting the border. “It is hard to find places in Russia where they would treat the border in the same way as we treat and protect it ensuring Russia’s security. You should learn from us to protect the state border, and they do,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

The Belarusian leader believes that to transform the Russian border guard service into a branch of the Russian Federal Security Service was not the best decision. “Given that the protection of the state border is one of Russia’s major concerns, it was not the best decision to incorporate the border guard service into the Federal Security Service. This is not their function, and they will not manage to fulfill it well. In such an enormous country as Russia, the border guard service should be a separate agency managed and operated by professionals,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

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