The veteran of “alpha” Alexey Filatov — will the decision on visa-free entry to Belarus for five days to increase the terrorist threat in Russia
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on visa-free entry into the country for a period of not more than five days for citizens of 80 countries, ranging from Albania to Japan, including the entire European Union and the United States. A message appeared on the website of the Belarusian head of state.
The press service of President Lukashenko stressed that the decree “is designed to enhance the travel of businessmen, tourists, individuals, having a regular passport, and will not apply to aliens engaged in official travel”.
Belarus came to this decision through dozens of events (60-80 per year) held with the participation of foreigners where not charged the visa fee. And this increased the flow of tourists.
Belarus had abolished visas for tourists visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the Augustow canal.
In addition, visa-free experiments with Belarus, Turkey and Israel showed the fold increase in the number of attracted tourists (in 1,5–2 times). Visa-free regime also worked in Belarus for citizens of Qatar and the UAE.
In fact, these results served as a basis for making such decisions.
The fact that Belarus seeks to develop tourism, it is understandable. In terms of price and quality of tourist service our neighbors are competitive with many countries.
Certain flaws related to the quality of food and lodging that recognize Belarusian specialists, with more than kompensiruet security inherent in Belarus.
But therein lies the problem.
Security in the closed country and the security in the open for visa-free visits to the country — fundamentally different things.
Even in a closed country it is impossible to completely eliminate the danger of a terrorist attack. We remember terrorist act in Minsk metro, as a result of explosion at station “October” 11 April 2011, 15 people were killed and 203 injured. However, it should be recognized that in the history of independent Belarus in 1991, the country’s capital was committed only two attacks (one on 4 July 2008 during the celebration of independence Day when the explosion injured 54 people).
Belarusian experts have strived to provide a visa-free regime for countries, secure in the migration plan. But, strictly speaking, a Europe in which continuing immigration crisis (and in the Belarusian list of 39 European countries for whose citizens a visa free entry), today it is impossible to call security models. Numerous terrorist attacks in France, Germany and other countries of the Old world — a clear confirmation. In the once prosperous and peaceful European States today with the advent of an avalanche of migrants have significantly worsened the crime situation, increased social tensions in society.
Therefore, to guarantee that tourists from Europe (not only Europe) will visit Belarus only with good intentions, of course not.
By the way, Belarusian law enforcers from the security perspective of the country were in opposition to the Ministry of economy, Ministry of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of sport and tourism of Belarus, advocated the adoption of the document on visa-free entry.
And then — Russia.
Note that the order of visa-free entry does not apply to those coming to Belarus flights from Russia, and also intend to carry out a flight to the airports of Russia (these flights are considered domestic, border control on not available).
On the one hand, domestic flights, as carried out within the Union state of Russia and Belarus. On the other hand, foreigners that have implemented visa-free entry to Belarus will not be easy to go in few hours to Moscow (and to Smolensk and less). And again, there is no guarantee that these tourists transit through Belarus to Russia will be only good intentions.
In the actual absence of borders between Russia and Belarus is not only our neighbors but our country could face a growing terrorist threat.
Of course, there will be additional security measures. Have serious joint work of special services of Belarus and Russia.
But the risk of increasing threat of terrorism for the Union state of Russia and Belarus in connection with the decision on visa-free entry to Belarus for five days, of course, exist.
According to reports, the introduction of a visa-free regime for up to five days is introduced for foreign nationals arriving in Belarus via Minsk national airport.
To ensure the safety of working with a relatively small flow of air passengers is, of course, easier. But if you continue the process of visa-free movement of tourists will spread to rail and road transport, to ensure safety will be much harder.
The author is Vice-President of the international Association of veterans of division of Antiterror “alpha”
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial Board