Russia-Belarus border control rules for attendees of major sports competitions in Russia

On June 1, 2018 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Belarus on certain issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons to international sports competitions came into force. The document in particular regulates the entry procedure for certain categories of foreign citizens into the territory of the Union State during the preparations and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Agreement provides for visa-free entry into the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for the holders of spectator identity cards (fan passports or FAN IDs) or information about them provided they have an authentic ID. The said citizens can also cross the Russia-Belarus border if they travel via the following motor roads: M-1, P-23, A-240 and following railway routes Vitebsk-Pskov, Minsk-Smolensk, Gomel-Bryansk.

A FAN ID is a spectator identity card that is part of the system for identifying football fans. The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications is responsible for the project’s implementation.

A FAN ID is issued in the name of the applicant for free and once for all matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Every spectator that purchased a ticket for a tournament match should receive a FAN ID.

Car drivers servicing FAN ID holders also have the right to cross the Russia-Belarus border if they have valid Russian and Belarusian visas, or other permits to enter, exit and stay in Russia or Belarus, or without those if they are entitled to visa-free travel by international treaties of Russia and Belarus.

All other categories of foreign citizens and stateless persons can only enter Russia through checkpoints open for international traffic. There are no such checkpoints on Russia-Belarus border.

When travelling to Kaliningrad FAN ID does not give its owner the right to cross borders of Lithuania and Poland without a visa. If it is necessary, foreign citizens and stateless persons should obtain Schengen visas.