February 24, 2017 - Fort Russ News -
RusVesna - translated by J. Arnoldski -
On February 20th, the official spokesperson of the State Border Committee of Belarus, Anton Bychkovsky, stated that “entering Belarus with DPR/LPR passports is currently impossible,” and added that people identifying with such documents will be held by guards accountable under law.
However, Ukrainian "patriots" have rejoiced too early.
On February 22nd, the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus issued an explanation which says just about the opposite.
The statement does say that “the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (henceforth DPR and LPR) are unrecognized territorial entities,” but, nevertheless, it recognizes that the "overwhelming majority of these republics’ citizens are subject to existing regulatory frameworks" and, moreover, enjoy preference in crossing the Russian-Belarusian border.
DPR/LPR citizens entering Belarus can have their documents checked in the usual manner, after which a decision will be made “case by case” regardless of the person's stated purpose of visiting Belarus.
“Upon entering the Republic of Belarus from the territory of the Russian Federation, citizens with travel documents from the DPR and LPR will be procedurally identified at the initial stage by internal affairs authorities, and then on a case by case basis, regardless of their life situation, a decision will be made on the possibility of their further stay in the Republic of Belarus,” the Belarusian foreign ministry’s statement reads.
This controversy comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree on February 18th that DPR/LPR passports and other documents will be recognized as valid by Russia.
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