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Consulates in Belarus, Latvia begin issuing local border traffic permits


Belarus' general consulate in Daugavpils and the Latvian consulate in Vitsyebsk on February 1 started issuing permits for visa-free travel under an interstate local border traffic agreement, BelaPAN said.

About 200 residents of Belarus and about 4,000 residents of Latvia have reportedly been entered on the lists of people eligible for local border traffic permits.

Latvia's list is longer because the agreement applies to large cities such as Daugavpils and Kraslava, Dagnia Latse-Ate, head of the consulate in Vitsyebsk, told the government's news agency BelTA. She added that the lists would be updated every three months.

Signed in Riga on August 23, 2010, the local border traffic agreement provides for the possibility for holders of the local border traffic permit who have resided in the border area in Belarus and Latvia for at least one year to cross the border without a visa. Also eligible are the spouses of such persons and their parents, grandparents, children under 18 years of age and grandchildren.

Such people will pay €20 to get the permit, valid for between one and five years and be able to stay within the border zone on the other side of the border for no more than 90 days within six months. Permits may be issued to retirees, people with disabilities and people under 18 years of age free of charge.

The agreement applies to, among others, the Belarusian cities of Braslaw, Verkhnyadzvinsk, Myory and Vidzy and the Latvian cities of Daugavpils, Dagda, Zilupe and Kraslava.
Belarus signed a local border traffic agreement with Poland in February 2010 and with Lithuania in October 2010.

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