500 rabbis stranded at Russia-Belarus border

An international delegation of 500 rabbis today was unable to make to the Belarusain town of Liozna as they had not Belarusian visas. The Jewish priests, the participants of Europe's Rabbis Congress taking place in Moscow on August 18-26, were to take part in a collective prayer and attend a Holocaust memorial in the Belarusian town.                                                               

According to TUT.by, the rabbis from 30 countries of Europe on August 22 left Smolensk for Liozna but they were stopped at the border with Belarus by Russian border guards. Since the majority of the delegation members did not hold Russian or Belarusian citizenship, they could enter Belarus from Russia only via international entry posts.

The Belarusian border control agency said most of the rabbis had no Belarusian visa. If they arrived in Belarus at the international airport, they would have been granted a permit to enter. However, there are no border posts at the Russia-Belarus border.

Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka earlier greeted the delegates of the Congress and stressed that Belarus was a cozy home to various nationalities and religions. He also noted that Judaism occupies an honorable place among the country's religions.