Uncommon solidarity: Belarusians for free border crossing

Online signing-in is coming to an end: the campaigners have collected about 25,000 signatures under the petition of abandoning the decision on taxing Belarusians going abroad within 10 (!) days.

The petition campaign was initiated by Aliaksei Shein, an activist of the Belarusian Christian Democracy. The petitioners consider potential tax implementing as an illegal act violating people’s right of freedom of travel.

According to Article 30 of the Constitution, citizens of Belarus have the right to move freely and choose a place of residence within the country, leave it and go back without any restrictions, the petition says.

Leaving their signatures everyone who wished stood a chance to explain their reasons. “The fact that our prices are higher that our neighbours’ must give much food for thought about the way of their decreasing, not about preventing people from buying cheaper goods abroad. They shoud exclude the cause, not consequences,” Piotr Rashkouski says.

“If the tax is introduced I will pay it only once (an d not only me) to leave the coutry and never go back,” Khasin Genadz writes.

After the necessary amount of signatures is collected the petition will be addressed to President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich and MPs.


At the beginning of September, 2013 Aliaksandr Lukashenka voiced his intention to impose a duty for Belarusians who go shopping to foreign countries.

The emphatic statement (“We took $3 bn out to them [EU], they are developing trade and production while we are fooling about!”) might have been considered as a political hiccup but Lukashenka added that he did order to develop this idea long time ago.

“It will be the following way: we provide you services at border, you pay us $100 for each person and go,” he explained.


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