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Opinions & Interviews

30 May 2016

Simpler visa formalities for Belarus’ tighter cooperation with foreign businessmen

Simpler visa formalities for Belarus’ tighter cooperation with foreign businessmen

MINSK, 30 May (BelTA) – The streamlining of visa formalities contributes to tighter cooperation with foreign businesses, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov on 30 May.

The official said: “The simplification of all kinds of visa formalities is something that encourages more business delegations and tourists to travel to Belarus. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is interested in keeping visa formalities with specific countries down to a minimum. Naturally all the matters relating to security are taken into account.” Valentin Rybakov also reminded that the Belarusian side had already simplified visa regulations for a number of countries. For instance, if there is no embassy of Belarus in a foreign country, a Belarusian visa can be acquired upon arrival at the airport.

Valentin Rybakov pointed out that foreigners sometimes complain that getting a visa at the airport takes too much time. He suggested inquiring about the procedure in advance in order to reduce the time one spends waiting. In particular, before boarding the aircraft tourists can download the forms they have to fill in upon arrival.

The Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs added that representatives of major private companies are often interested in getting their visas fast or in entering the country without visas since they have no time for visa formalities. “We can give multiple-entry visas to the businessmen we know if they indeed work on something here, if this work involves frequent trips to Belarus. We naturally try to meet them halfway. We try to facilitate the process as much as possible. For instance, those, who arrive upon the invitation of Belarusian companies and organizations, get their visas much easier. For instance, invitations from the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Asked whether Belarus is going to lift visa requirements for European Union citizens unilaterally, Valentin Rybakov made it clear that such matters cannot be decided instantaneously.

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