Poles and Lithuanians do not assault Belarusian Embassy for cheap visas


The crowd near the consular department of the Polish Embassy to Minsk is impressive. There are 4 thousand people on the list of applicants for visas. ERB decided to find out whether Poles and Lithuanians had to stand in such long queues to get Belarusian visas. The thing is the visa will soon cost them 60 euro instead of 5.
According to the press secretary Dzmitry Vybarny, there is no rush. They give out 50-150 visas per day. The Polish Embassy to Minsk gives out 250-300 visas per day. A Pole wishing to visit Belarus is invited to the consular department on the same day and can leave for Belarus in five days.

Dzmitry Vybarny: We work so that we could serve all people who come to us during the day. We have given out 16 thousand visas to Polish citizens since the beginning of the year. The number has increased in comparison with the last year.

While Poles get visas easily Belarusians have to wait for them for 2 or 3 months. The Lithuanian Embassy is facing the same problem. Belarusians are assaulting the building of the Embassy while Lithuanians visit Belarus during week-ends.

The head of the consular department of the Belarusian Embassy to Lithuania Anatol Zhautouski informed ERB that they worked “till the last client”: they serve everyone who turns to them on that day.

Anatol Zhautouski: We serve as many people as needed. We served 1500-1700 people per day in summer. Then there was a recession: we gave out 849 visas the day before yesterday and 675 – yesterday. Now the number of people is growing. A lot of people are going to come for memorial days; there are four days off in Lithuania.

Nobody is complaining in the queue - everybody knows that they will be served on this very day. There are 900 people in the queue toady. The Belarusian Embassy to Lithuanian confirmed that the last person will enter the Embassy at 6 p.m. Visas used to be given out till 10 p.m. in summer.

The most popular reasons for getting a visa are visiting graves and business meetings.

Anatol Zhautouski: You do not have to register in the queue in advance. Everything is done on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are going without an invitation you will be given a medical insurance and an insurance policy in the opposite building. The system means that a visa has to be given out within three days.

The Embassy has given out almost 130 thousand visas during 9 months. It means that every tenth Lithuanian has visited Belarus this year.