MOSCOW: Belarus said Thursday it was temporarily suspending visa requirements for Polish citizens in what it described as a “good neighbourly” gesture.
President Alexander Lukashenko “has decided to bring in a temporary visa-less entry regime for Polish nationals” for six months, from Friday until December 31, Belarus border control said in a statement.
Poles will be able to visit border areas without the special authorisation previously required, as long as they give border agents a reason for travel and specify where they intend to visit, it added.
Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, has extended similar authorisations to Lithuanians and Latvians until year-end.
The surprise announcement comes four months after Belarus’ closest ally Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.
It also comes several months after EU countries accused Lukashenko of sparking a migration crisis on his border with Poland after allowing migrants to enter Belarus, where they ended up stranded and unable to transit into EU member Poland.