Establishment of the border zone between Russia and Belarus
According to the documents posted on the legal information portal, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov signed decrees on the establishment of the border zone on the border between Belarus and territorial entities of the Russian Federation.
In accordance with the decrees, Russia establishes the border zone on the border of Pskov, Smolensk and Bryansk regions with Belarus in order to create the necessary conditions for the protection of national borders.
Establishment of the border zone can be considered as a respond to the introduction of a visa-free regime for foreign nationals entering Belarus.
It should be recalled that on January 9, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree allowing the citizens of 80 countries (including 39 European countries, Brazil, Indonesia, the US, Japan and other states) arriving to Belarus through the National airport Minsk to stay in the country without a visa for up to 5 days. First of all this refers to citizens of the countries – strategic partners of Belarus, countries that have established a visa-free regime for Belarusian citizens, non-citizens of Latvia and Estonian persons without citizenship.
According to the press service, to enter the country without a visa, foreign nationals will need to possess a valid passport, a specified amount of money and a medical insurance policy (amounting to at least 10 000 euros) valid in Belarus. Citizens of other countries (Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, Honduras, India, China, Lebanon, Samoa, Namibia and others) will have to additionally possess a valid multiple-entry visa to EU member states or Schengen zone with an indication of entry into their territory, as well as plane tickets confirming their departure from the National airport Minsk within 5 days from the date of entry into the country.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, the introduction of a visa-free entry for foreign nationals arriving to Belarus will not pose a risk to the country and its neighboring states, since the abolition of visas does not mean the abolition of border controls.