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Opinions & Interviews

2 Apr 2018

Belarus-Russia agreement on mutual visa recognition is almost ready

Belarus-Russia agreement on mutual visa recognition is almost ready

MINSK, 2 April (BelTA) – The Belarusian-Russian agreement on mutual recognition of visas is at a high degree of readiness, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov said at a press conference to mark the Day of Unity of the Peoples of Belarus and Russia on 2 April, BelTA has learned.

“The document has a high degree of readiness. Disagreements are very few. It will probably be finalized in the near future. The goal is to approve the document before the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” Alexander Surikov said.

According to the State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota, work on the visa agreement is conducted by the foreign ministries of the two countries. “Effective consultations are underway. Experts are working on the text of this agreement. In fact it is basically ready. There are just two or three issues that need additional coordination,” he said.

Ambassador of Belarus to Russia Igor Petrishenko also spoke on the subject in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper. He stressed that there are no barriers for citizens of Belarus and Russia in the freedom of movement. “There was a problem on the Belarusian-Russian administrative border, not on our side, but on the part of our Russian friends towards third-country nationals. Their focus was on the movement through international checkpoints mentioned in the bilateral documents,” the diplomat said.

“Perhaps we needed to change bilateral agreements with other countries when we were removing customs posts on the Belarusian-Russian administrative border. It turned out so that, for example, the Poles are required to pass through international checkpoints, while it was necessary to lay out a specific point, certain conditions and rules. We have heard our Russian friends that we should work on these issues related to the so-called Union State visa,” said Igor Petrishenko.

“As for entering Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup with fan passports and other documents, our expert Russian-Belarusian group has made very serious progress in the negotiations. There are certain elements that need to be addressed. Now, consultations are underway in order to work out relevant regulatory documents prior to the Russian World Cup. It will be either an agreement or some other bilateral document that will be able to settle the problem. I think we will be able to do this in time. This problem will be addressed,” the ambassador said.

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