There will be no visa restriction for entering the country of Belarus during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest season in 2018.
In Belarus’ Junior Eurovision press conference today, the Head of Delegation confirmed that there will be no visa restriction for entering Belarus during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in November next year. As it stands, visitors to the country are only allowed to stay five days without a visa, before having to head back to their own country. For next November, though, extended visa-free travel is being looked into so delegations, press, and fans can stay longer if they wish.
In the press conference, this year’s Belarusian participant Helena Meraai had invited all attendees to visit the city of Minsk, and even jokingly invited people to stay at her house.
The Belarusian broadcaster had also announced a few days ago that the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, Vasily Zharko, will be the head of the Organising Committee for Junior Eurovision 2018.
Belarus was announced as the host country before this year’s contest took place. The Junior Eurovision Steering Group decided to remove a clause in the Rules that gave the winning broadcaster first refusal to host, to ensure the longevity of the Contest and allow more time to prepare the event. This clause was first introduced in 2014. Italy used this clause in 2015 to decline hosting the contest that year after their victory in 2014. Bulgaria were then selected as hosts for the 2015 contest. After the removal of said clause, EBU Members were given the opportunity to apply to host Junior Eurovision 2018. From these applications, Belarus was selected.
To date the following countries have confirmed their participation in the contest:
- Belarus – Host nation
Belarus debuted at the first edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, and have been present at every contest since. To date, Belarus have won the contest twice – first in 2005 with Ksenia Sitnik and her song “My Vmeste”, which received 149 points, and the second time in 2007 with Alexey Zhigalkovich and his song “S Druz’yami”, which received a total of 137 points. Their worst entry came from Egor Volchek and his song “Spjavajtse So Mnoj” in 2004, which received only 9 points. Belarus have placed in the top 3 a total of 5 times to date.