Posted: 05.03.2024 18:11:25

Expert outlined why foreigners seek to visit Belarus despite West propaganda

On March 4th, the State Border Committee reported that 43,735 foreigners from the EU have used the Belarusian visa-free regime to visit the republic since January 1st, 2024. Moreover, for the entire period of the visa-free regime, almost 900,000 people visited Belarus, with Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland at the top. The Dean of the Journalism Department at the Belarusian State University, political scientist Aleksei Belyaev, in his talk with Alfa Radio, outlined why foreigners seek to visit Belarus despite the propaganda of the West.

“Belarus proceeds from the position that it is an open country, Belarusians are not the initiators of any conflicts, disputes, they specifically create opportunities for all those who wish to come to Belarus and see with their own eyes what kind of life is here, so that all local Western propagandists cannot then convey false information to people. That is why Belarus is opening its doors and is ready to welcome tourists. It is ready to see people who are interested in both Belarusian history and culture, as well as people who have just stopped by the nearest Belarusian store for good and delicious products. Belarusians are always ready to treat them. As for those foreigners who come to see the real economic level of development, they can assess prices and compare them with their own. Therefore, for the Lithuanian government, for example, such openness of Belarus is like an eyesore. They try to counteract it in every possible way,” Aleksei Belyaev noted.

According to the expert, the Baltic States are trying to persuade their citizens not to travel to Belarus through propaganda. They put up posters, make a lot of publications, saying that if you come to Belarus, you will be recruited by the State Security Committee (KGB). However, despite this, Aleksei Belyaev noted that many people still come to the republic. 

“Therefore, the only way to stop the flow is to physically restrict people from crossing the border. In this regard, they create new obstacles. They close checkpoints. In theory, when a country proceeds from its interests, it should rejoice at such large passenger and cargo traffic and be glad that there is a possibility of such exchanges. Nevertheless, we see the opposite trend: an increase in the cost of Schengen visas, the complications of their issuance, and the expulsion of Belarusians from Lithuania. This is an opposite point of view and line of conduct, connected only with the fact that Europe is apparently afraid of competition. It is afraid that open borders will reveal the truth. Europe does not let its citizens into Belarus so that they do not see how much the standard of living in Belarus is better than they are pictured. It also does not let Belarusians in, so that they do not see what the real standard of living is there,” Aleksei Belyaev added.