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2 Aug 2019

Lukashenko wants more efforts to resolve visa issues with EU, Russia

Lukashenko wants more efforts to resolve visa issues with EU, Russia

MINSK, 2 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to step up efforts to address visa issues with the European Union and Russia, Belarusian Premier Sergei Rumas told reporters following the meeting of the Belarusian head of state with the Council of Ministers on 2 August, BelTA has learned.

“The head of state told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intensify work to resolve visa issues with the EU and the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will submit its proposals to the head of state in the near future,” the premier said.

In addition to that, the participants of the meeting discussed the visa waiver for foreign nationals. A decision was made to expand the visa-free zones in Grodno Oblast and Brest Oblast. “These measures are believed to give a boost to tourism. We told the head of state about the positive effect of the previous decisions on visa-free travel. We expect an increase in inbound visits,” Sergei Rumas said.

A reminder, the agreement on visa facilitation between Belarus and the European Union is expected to be signed before 2 February 2020 when the amendments to the visa code take effect and the Schengen visa fees increase to €80. No specific date was announced, but both parties assured that the necessary package of documents is nearly ready. They reaffirmed their commitment to sign the agreement as soon as all formal legal procedures are complete.

Belarus-Russia visa recognition agreement was supposed to be signed by the end of 2019. The work on the agreement that began in 2015 is now at the final stage.

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