Foreigners are now allowed to visit Belarus National Park Bialowieza Forest for 3 days without getting a national visa. Tourists can cross the Polish-Belarus border at one of the checkpoints situated right on the territory of Białowieża Forest, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation.
Yet, foreign visitors still have to get a permission to enter the Bialowieza Forest. The Council of Ministers is to develop a corresponding document within the next 3 months, and this document will be a pass.
In January, the foreign affairs minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, said that the government negotiates visa facilitation with a few countries. “Maybe, it could be easier to cancel a visa but there is a security issue: we should know who is coming into the country”, the minister noted.
On the other hand, citizens of Belarus need a visa to travel everywhere except Montenegro, Serbia, Cuba and Malaysia (all up to 30 days), Nicaragua and Venezuela up to 90 days, China (for tourist groups), Honduras, Moldova and, of course, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
More dialog with the EU would be, undoubtedly, good for Belarus which borders Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. The first round of negotiations regarding visa facilitation agreements and readmission between Belarus and the EU took place in June 2014 in Minsk, the second one – in November 2014 in Brussels.
Though both parties are eager to move forward, there are some contradictions: Europeans want a visa facilitation for all citizens of Belarus, firstly, and Minsk wants an abolition of visas for owners of diplomatic passports. Nevertheless, a visa facilitation agreement may be signed in May 2015 during the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga. At least, such is declared by Belarussian ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg, the permanent representative of the EU and NATO Andrei Yeudachenka and Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics.
As Mr.Yeudachenka said during his interview with the national TV, relationships between Belarus and the European Union became warmer due to the role of Minsk in Ukrainian crisis solution. As a result, Minsk has been officially invited to revise its stance on relationships with the EU with the Eastern Partnership states.
Nowadays most foreigners visiting Belarus require a visa. Exceptions are: CIS passport holders (except Turkmenistan), citizens of Cuba (for visits up to 30 days), Serbia (for visits up to 30 days), Mongolia, Venezuela (for visits up to 90 days), Macedonia (with a private invitation or tourist voucher), Montenegro (for visits up to 30 days with a private invitation or tourist voucher), Qatar (for visits up to 30 days), Turkey (for visits up to 30 days). Consular fees depend on the applicant's nationality and the type of visa.