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15 Oct 2015

Belarus ratifies agreement on common migration space with Russia

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – On 15 October the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus ratified the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition and order of executing decisions to deny the entry to the territory of the parties to the agreement, BelTA informs.

The document was signed in Moscow on 3 March 2015 in order to develop the Belarus-Russia common migration space.

Under the agreement, decisions to deny the entry taken by the authorized bodies of one party are recognized as a basis to deny a foreign citizen or a stateless person the entry and visa issuance.

The Belarusian MPs also ratified an agreement with Russia on the order of sharing information regarding citizens of Belarus and Russia who are restricted from leaving the country. The document is based on one of the provisions of the Belarusian-Russian agreement on securing equal rights of citizens of Belarus and Russia in the freedom of movement, the choice of the place of residence on the territory of the two countries.

There was also ratified a protocol to introduce amendments to the agreement on securing equal rights.

According to Interior Minister Igor Shunevich, the creation of the common migration space between Belarus and Russia is one of the top priority goals in the development of the Union State.

Igor Shunevich noted: “Taking into account the absence of the border control between Belarus and Russia, some Belarusian citizens, who are temporary restricted from leaving the country, can freely move to third countries via the Russian Federation.” One of the ratified agreements has been worked out to bring order to the matter.

Talking to reporters, Igor Shunevich stressed that the above-mentioned documents had been designed to streamline approaches of the two countries to migration issues. Among other things the agreements will protect Belarus from illegal migration and labor migration in particular. According to the minister, earlier Belarus treated Russian citizens more liberally than Russia did in respect to Belarusian nationals. The situation has been rectifying. A decision was taken to introduce a similar period of stay without registration for Russian citizens in Belarus and Belarusian nationals in Russia, which is 90 days. It is expected that the norm will take effect before the end of 2015.

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