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Opinions & Interviews

13 May 2019

Belarus-EU readmission agreement talks ‘more or less’ finished

Belarus-EU readmission agreement talks ‘more or less’ finished
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BRUSSELS, 13 May (BelTA) – European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn talked to reporters on the sidelines of events timed to the tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership Initiative. Among other things he mentioned that Belarus-EU negotiations on the readmission agreement had been finished, BelTA has learned.

Johannes Hahn said: “I think we’ve more or less finished negotiations on the readmission agreement in the end. We now have to determine the date and the place where we will sign it.”

Speaking about the signing of priorities of partnership between the sides, the European commissioner explained that disagreements between Belarus and Lithuania regarding the Belarusian nuclear power plant disallow working out a common resolution. “We are discussing the problem of Lithuania and Belarus with our friends and partners. We are discussing how we can address this concern and come to an agreement in the end. We understand that partnership priorities represent something, which interests everyone,” he added.

Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said on 13 May that Belarus hopes to sign agreements with the European Union on facilitating visa procedures and on readmission by the end of the year. Vladimir Makei said: “We intend to firmly pursue the policy of advancing our relations with the European Union. We intend to secure the signing of the partnership priorities. Unfortunately, the process has been suspended for now through no fault of our own.”

It was reported earlier that Belarus had been ready to sign the agreement on facilitating visa procedures with the European Union for a long time. However, European partners would like to sign the document together with the readmission agreement. The readmission agreement will oblige Belarus to take back illegal migrants, who enter the European Union via Belarus’ territory. This is why the country has been working on ways to offset the financial cost of having to deport these citizens to their own countries.

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