02 September 2013
Since 22 August 2013 all foreigners can get Belarusian visas through the Minsk National Airport just after their arrival.
However, these and other relaxations in the visa regime on the eve of the 2014 Ice Hockey World Cup still remain incomplete. They leave a number of obstacles on the path to simplifying travel to Belarus and from Belarus which includes low number of no visa...
17 April 2013
On 12 April, Filip Kaczmarek, the chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, stated that the EU can make Schengen visas more available for ordinary Belarusians even now.
MEPs often say good things but unfortunately they have little real power to implement them.Unlike talks on the dialogue or the sanctions, visa relations of Belarus and...
29 March 2013
Last week a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Belarus was not ready to implement an agreement on local border traffic with Poland.
The reason given was ‘the anti-Belarusian position of the Polish government'. Although both sides have already signed the agreement and the parliaments ratified it in 2010, Minsk is clearly not in a hurry to implement...
06 November 2012
"Tell me, what is the system of getting registered at the [Polish] consulate? I went there on 10 September, it said "closed until 30/09". I think, okay, they'll open closer to the end of October, and I'll get registered... I go there – jeez! It's now closed until 31/10! I don't want to miss the next wave... What is their system of work?”, a...
- 14 July 2012
16 May 2012
In response to the EU sanctions policy, Belarus allegedly weakened border control at the Belarus-EU border recently. This puts in doubt Belarus' willingness to implement in the nearest future local border traffic agreements with western neighbours in full.
It makes the prospect of signing a readmission agreement with the EU even more remote, which in turn makes visa facilitation...
11 May 2012
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka highlighted the need to modernise the Belarusian economy in his annual speech for the national Parliament on 8 May. These words coincide with a goal of the new EU project "Dialogue on Modernization for Belarus". But the two sides see the process of modernization quite differently. Minsk wants to avoid any political reforms while the EU is...
18 April 2012
The argument for loosening the visa regime for Belarusian citizen is that people to people contacts must improve. At a time when the official diplomatic relations are at an all-time low, it seems that the exchange between ordinary people offers a glimpse of hope. It might prevent the Belarusian citizen...
11 April 2012
Belarusians are the most travel-restricted nation in Europe. Both their own government and the European Union seem to be determined not to let them out.
The Belarusian authorities prevent leading opposition activists, students and state bureaucrats from travelling to the neighbouring EU states. The European Union also restricts Belarusian citizens by keeping the most restrictive...
04 April 2012
Belarusians and Lithuanians have a long common history which started long before the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 500 years ago. Two nations followed clearly divergent paths only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When Lukashenka came to power, he recognised the state border of Lithuania and thus prevented the main source of possible tension between two countries.
13 March 2012
Belarusian authorities create problems for opposition activists who are crossing Belarusian borders. Isolation of the country is increasing. Following the departure of EU ambassadors, the IMF decided not to have any resident representative in Belarus and the country's representatives were missing at an Eastern Partnership meeting in Prague.
Anatoly Lebedko not allowed...
02 March 2012
The recent pull-out of EU ambassadors from Minsk signals the deeply troubled relations between Belarus and the West. The amended and updated Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011 that was signed by US President Barack Obama in January outlines the official policy and maintains sanctions that have been in place for several years.
The proposed goals of the West, however, remain...