Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn,
Estonian government decided on Thursday that Estonia would waive the visa fee for citizens of Belarus applying for national visas from Estonian foreign representations, Foreign Ministry press service announced.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the goal of the decision is to express support for the civil society of Belarus. "Facilitating travel to European Union nations will help Belarus strengthen its civil society and get experiences from the European Union," said Paet. "This is a show of solidarity and support for the Belarusians, for whom travel to European nations is currently expensive and therefore they rarely get to leave their home country," he added.
Other nations to recently waive the fee for processing a long-term visa application for Belarusian citizens are Poland and Latvia. "We hope that other European Union member states will also find opportunities to facilitate travel for citizens of Belarus and that the European Union will in the foreseeable future sign a visa facilitation agreement with Belarus that lowers the fee for Schengen visas," said Foreign Minister Paet.