16 January 2017, Monday, 14:02

Linas Linkevičius: rather trips to Belarus than flights are important for Lithuanians

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Linas Linkevičius

"Visa-free" in Minsk airport does not solve the problem of Lithuanian citizens living near the border.

According to delfi.lt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius said that Lithuania was still waiting for the Republic of Belarus's respond on the regulation of the movement of people living at the border, which would facilitate border crossing for citizens of both countries living in the border areas.

He stated this since Belarus has decided to introduce visa-free regime for the citizens of dozens of countries, including Lithuania, entering the country through the Minsk airport for a period of up to five days.

According to the Minister, this is not particularly useful for Lithuanians because they are more likely to travel to Belarus by land and not by air.

"Of course, this is a step towards openness, but I would like to remind here, that since 2010 we have been trying to reach agreement on the so-called regime of local travel, which would significantly improve communication, simplify travel for those who live within 50 km on both sides of the border," – Linkevičius said to BNS.

"In this regard, we still have not yet received a response from the Republic of Belarus. Our people don't use airport so often, overland journey is still more preferable," – he added.

We remind, that according to Lukashenka's decree, citizens of 80 countries will be able to enter Belarus and stay there for up to five days without a visa, if they arrive in the country through the Minsk airport.