Good news again on the political liberalization front — Belarus introduces five days visa-free travel for citizens of EU, US, Japan and many other countries — in total 80 countries. The visa exemption applies only to those arriving by air and does not apply to those arriving to Belarus from Russia. The regulation is due to come into force in mid-February.
What does it mean for foreign journalists willing to come to visit our country, which is making humble efforts to open up to the West? The good news is that you don’t have to pay for Belarus’ visa if you are coming for less than 5 days. The bad news is that officially you still need an accreditation from Belarus’ Foreign Ministry that theoretically still takes them up to 20 days to make.
However, the guys at the press department in the Belarus Foreign Ministry are becoming more efficient these days and it usually takes no more than 10 days, sometimes even under a week to issue you a press accreditation. More adventurous people can come to visit as tourists and write an article or two — nobody can prevent you from doing this, unless you are part of a big bad TV crew and waive your huge cameras in front of the presidential administration.