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Opinions & Interviews

23 Apr 2020

Belarus’ ambassador names conditions for visa-free agreement with EU

Belarus’ ambassador names conditions for visa-free agreement with EU
Aleksandr Mikhnevich. An archive photo

MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Belgium Aleksandr Mikhnevich spoke about visa liberalization between Belarus and the EU during an online lecture for students and academic staff of the International Relations Department at the Belarusian State University on 22 April, BelTA has learned.

“The signing of the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission between Belarus and the European Union in January 2020 and their forthcoming entering into force (preliminary in June) are paving the way for the next step in case there is mutual political will. This next step is a visa-free agreement. The experience of our neighbors shows that such a process can take up five to seven years,” Aleksandr Mikhnevich said.

The diplomat paid special attention to further development of the legal framework of cooperation. “The need to create a modern legal basis of cooperation is a fundamentally important priority for further development of relations with the EU,” he said.

According to the ambassador, the current cooperation between Belarus and the EU is based on the agreement the USSR and the European Economic Community signed in 1989. “That is why there is a need for a new founding document to keep with the spirit of the times. In our case it will not be an Association Agreement as in case with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, but a standard agreement which the EU signs with the countries that are not its member states. The goal of such an agreement is the development of cooperation in all the sectors. This should be an agreement approved by all the EU states,” Aleksandr Mikhnevich said.

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