Belarus — Govt. Charges Fee to Leave, Dissidents Issue Alternative Passports

  • The new law requires people to pay to leave Belarus.
  • Germany facilitates "alternative" Belarus passports.
  • Russia and Belarus to have joint military training.

Belarus started charging its citizens to leave the country. The information is available at the “Amendments to the Tax Code,” published on the Belarus National Legal Portal. Drivers of cars weighing up to five tons, and with the capacity of up to eight passengers, will have to pay.

Alexander Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician serving as President of Belarus since the office was created on 20 July 1994. Western opponents of Lukashenko have described Belarus as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’

The amount of the fee will be set by the regional Councils of Deputies within three basic values (about €24) per vehicle, regardless of the number of passengers in it.

Cars that transport heads of state and government of Belarus, members of parliamentary, governmental, and other official delegations, as well as top officials of the republic, will be exempt from payment. Clearly, Belarus is having financial challenges.

Interestingly, in Germany, the “People’s Embassy” of Belarus has started issuing alternative passports.

According to DW, in order to get a passport of a citizen of “Free Belarus,” one will have to go through one main formality, namely, sign a statement in which”you do not support the dictatorship in any of its manifestations.”

The “passport” can be obtained by anyone, regardless of their citizenship.  It should be noted that over 100 people have already received a “passport” to become a citizen of the “free and democratic republic of Belarus.”

The “passport” cover is decorated in the colors of the former Belarusian flag, white and red. The document contains 16 pages with the information about the “passport” holder.

The passport is in the three languages: Belarusian, German, and English. On of the inside of the cover, there is a poem by the Belarusian writer Yanka Kupala.

The idea of creating an alternative embassy, and all creative initiatives, are by the Belarusians Taras Siakerka and Mikhail Tauba. Mikhail Tauba is currently coordinating an alternative embassy in Berlin.

Yanka Kupala was the pen name of Iván Daminíkavich Lutsévich, a Belarusian poet and writer. He is considered one of the greatest Belarusian-language writers of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, Russia and Belarus’ relationship continues to strengthen. Russia and Belarus will hold joint strategic command and staff exercises at West-2021.

According to the Russian Western Military District, during the SCSHU West-2021:

“Special attention is planned to be paid to the fight against cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, fire and electronic effects on a simulated enemy, the use of vertical coverage by tactical air assault forces, the rapid transition from one type of combat to another and the creation of a complex, dynamic environment.”

The strategic exercises West-2021 will involve military units of the combined arms of the army of the Western Military District. In the preparation for the main event, additional surprise inspections of the district’s formations and military units will be carried out.

Practical actions of units on their transfer over considerable distances in a combined way will be worked out. During the inspections, special attention will be paid to the organization of management of departments using automation tools.

The Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises West-2021, aimed at strengthening the military security of the Union State, will be held in September 2021. The exercise plan was approved in October 2020 at the joint Russian-Belarusian board of military departments of the two countries.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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