5

A Belarusfeed article from December 2018 notes:

Once the Belarus-Russia visa recognition agreement comes into force, foreigners won’t need two visas to stay in Belarus and Russia.

Belarus and Russia fully agreed on a draft intergovernmental agreement on the mutual recognition of visas on Friday, 30 November [2018].

(...)

The Belarusian side expects the mutual recognition of visas to come into force by May [2019].

However, the official website of the Republic of Belarus noted in April 2019:

BelTA reported earlier that Belarus and Russia were supposed to sign the mutual visa recognition agreement at a session of the Council of Ministers of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Brest in December 2018. However, Belarus had failed to complete all the necessary intrastate procedures in time for the session.

which implies it is not yet in force for May 2019.

What is the current situation? Do I still need a Belarus transit visa when taking the train between Poland and Russia?

  • It looks like I currently still need a transit visa, but this may change soon. – gerrit Jul 10 '19 at 13:42
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Since 2020-07-01

It should be in force as of 2020-07-01: From the Belarusian Telegraph Agency, reported on 2020-06-19:

INSK (sic), 19 June (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia have concluded an intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of visas and other issues related to the entry of foreign nationals and stateless persons to the territory of the states participating in the Union State Treaty, BelTA has learned.

However, another source (in Russian) claims that although it has been signed, it will still take several more months before it is actually in force.


Old situation (before 2020-07-01)

On 10 July 2019, the Belarusian Telegraph Agency wrote:

The agreement on mutual recognition of visas is technically ready, awaits a political decision, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Grigory Rapota said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel on 9 July, BelTA has learned.

On 18 November 2019, they quoted Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei:

“The agreement is almost ready. I am convinced that the decision on it can be adopted in the near future,” Vladimir Makei said.

So, as of 18 November 2019, it is not yet in force, and no date has been publicly announced on which it will be, only the vague "near future".

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  • I assume this implies that when applying for the Belarus visa I would need to mention that I'm not only spending time in Belarus but will also be in Russia? – kiradotee Jul 7 at 13:29
  • Are you sure this is in force? On this website (in Russian) reform.by/… it says it will be in force by the end of the year. – kiradotee Jul 7 at 13:37
  • @kiradotee I have not personally verified it. It is in force since 1 July according to Belarusian and Russian government news reports. I recognise your link contradicts this. I will edit this and other answers. – gerrit Jul 7 at 15:25
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    @kiradotee Thanks for the warning and the link, I have edited this into this and other relevant answers. At any rate, right now apparently nobody can legally cross the BY-RU border so the question is somewhat moot. It may be well be in force by the time the situation has normalised enough for tourism and business travel has restarted. – gerrit Jul 7 at 15:35

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