Belarusian President Lukashenka (left) with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin (file photo) (CTK)
29 December 2005 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today lifted most legal restrictions on Russian citizens in Belarus.
The new rules make Russians exempt from rigid controls used to track foreigners in the republic.
Russians will now be able to enter Belarus without migration documents and to take up residence anywhere in the country without government approval. They also give Russians more time to register with police after traveling within Belarus.
Under the new rules Russians will also have access to free medical care and enjoy equal property rights with Belarusians.
Video Roundtable On Belarus/Ukraine
On December 8, 2005, RFE/RL and the Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS) jointly conducted a roundtable discussion on issues relating to Belarus's post-Soviet transition. To view video of the roundtable, click here.