With the aim of facilitating people-to-people contacts and strengthening civil society and democratic institutions, as well as following the EU initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has taken a decision to alleviate visa procedures for citizens of Belarus. Thus, from 24 January onwards, the citizens of Belarus will not be required to pay a document processing fee when applying for a multiple-entry visa at Latvia's diplomatic and consular missions in Belarus.
The decision was taken under Paragraph 10(2) of the Cabinet Regulation No 571 of 21 June 2010 "Regulation on state fees for processing documents required when applying for a visa, a residence permit, or the status of a permanent resident of the European Communities, and for services this involves".
Decisions of similar character have recently been adopted by a number of other European Union member States. At the same time, the EU member states are considering to apply entry restrictions against top Belarusian officials who might have been involved in the organisation of the presidential election in Belarus, and in the violent dispersion of the opposition rally and the detention of its participants.