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Advice on overland travel between Europe and Russia, via Belarus
Posted by Aleksandra Kasaeva on 04 July 2017 01:22 PM


The Belarusian authorities have, this month, established a focus group to assess the border dispute with Russia, which must present its findings by 1st November 2017 (please follow this link to the original article, which is in English).

This focus group will address issues such as the technical requirements of mutual visa recognition by the Russian and Belarusian authorities. It is hoped that this will ease the path towards an agreement between the Belarusian and Russian authorities to once again make crossing the Belarus-Russia border a smooth process.

As always, Real Russia will continue to keep abreast of this situation, and update this article along with our social media channels accordingly.

If you are thinking of visiting Belarus and would like to know how to take advantage of Belarus' visa-free regime to stay in Belarus for up to five days without a visa, please follow this link. If you would like to book trains into Russia, we recommend speaking to our travel specialists. If you have any questions regarding visas, please contact our visa team.


There is currently a dispute between Russia and Belarus about third country nationals crossing the border between the two countries. The dispute was initially only directed at certain road crossings, and specifically excluded third country nationals crossing the border by international train.

However, Real Russia have received feedback from a number of our clients who have attempted to cross the Russia-Belarus border by international train (with the correct visas) and been turned away, with some being fined for attempting to make an ‘illegal’ border crossing.

It is worth noting that over the last few weeks we have also had a number of customers who have crossed over the border with no issues.Therefore, there is a little uncertainty as to whether it is, or isn’t, possible to cross the Russia-Belarus border by train.

Real Russia are currently working alongside the consulates, relevant border authorities and our local partners to clarify this situation.

In the meantime, Real Russia recommends caution when trying to travel between Europe and Russia, via Belarus. It is still possible to buy tickets that cross the Russia-Belarus border, but there is no guarantee that once at the border, regardless of having the correct visas, you will be allowed to cross.

There are a number of alternative routes available, avoiding the Russia-Belarus border; the most popular of which is to the north of Belarus, via Riga (Latvia). Via the south it is possible to travel via Kiev (Ukraine).

  • One train travels each day in each direction between Moscow and Riga, departing in the evening and arriving the following morning.
  • Up to six trains that travel between Kiev and Moscow each day, with flexible departure times, taking 12 to 13 hours to make the journey.

All of these trains can be booked via our online rail booking system. If you would like to book trains within Europe to, or from, either Riga or Kiev, we would recommend speaking to our travel specialists to ensure you choose the best route for your travel needs.

Check back to or our social media channels for updates.

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