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15 Feb 2017

Belarus continues working with EU partners to reduce Schengen visa fees

MINSK, 15 February (BelTA) – We continue working with our EU partners to reduce Schengen visa fees for Belarusians, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik said during an online conference on the website of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company on 15 February, BelTA has learned.

The draft EU-Belarus agreement on visa-related matters is closely connected with the readmission agreement. The documents are under review and are expected to be signed as part of one set. Dmitry Mironchik pointed out that the second document deals with illegal migration which involves many issues.

“Migration is a delicate issue for the EU today. Migration threats from Belarus are minimal. However, it is hard for them, politically and psychologically, to cross this line and say: alright, we sign it without the readmission agreement or we give Belarus a transition period to get prepared for this readmission agreement. Nevertheless, the prospects for a reduction in visa fees and signing of this agreement are quite good. We are working with our EU partners in this direction,” the MFA spokesman said.

Some time ago, Igor Fisenko, Head of the Central Consular Office of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was asked about the possibility of facilitating the negotiations on easing visa regulations with the EU as he took part in a press briefing at BelTA’s press center. The diplomat noted that the European Union ties this issue to the conclusion of the readmission agreement. “This means that one agreement will not come into force without the other. There are no major issues with easing visa regulations, but this agreement is tied closely to the readmission agreement.”

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