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.
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.