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Results of latest Belarusian-Russian consultations on migration policy explained

Politics 13.04.2017 | 13:22
Dmitry Mironchik. An archive photo
Dmitry Mironchik. An archive photo

MINSK, 13 April (BelTA) – A session of the Belarusian-Russian interstate interagency working group on working out recommendations for implementing a coordinated migration policy of Belarus and Russia took place in Grodno on 5-7 April. Dmitry Mironchik, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made a few comments on 13 April to expand on results of the session, BelTA has learned.

According to the source, the creation of a common migration space was discussed during the session among other things. A protocol on amending and expanding the Belarus-Russia intergovernmental agreement on unified migration cards of 5 October 2014 was signed. Dmitry Mironchik said that foreigners, who temporarily or permanently live in Russia, will no longer have to fill in migration cards as they enter the Russian Federation. The requirement will also be waived for all kinds of foreigners, who enter Belarus, except for people travelling in transit to Russia. The protocol will come into force once the intrastate ratification procedures are over.

Apart from that, the session participants discussed the mutual recognition of visas and other entry permits, primarily for transit applications. “It is one of the ways we may resolve the issue, which our Russian partners have been viewing as a problem since last year. I mean how third-country citizens can cross the Belarusian-Russian border. There are various options, including those provided by the Belarus president decree on visa-free travels to Belarus of 9 January 2017,” specified Dmitry Mironchik.

“That decree enabled foreigners to visit Belarus for five days without visas. We discussed its application and peculiarities with the Russian colleagues. In particular, foreigners cannot arrive from Russia by air and cannot leave Belarus for Russia by air. Holders of diplomatic passports, service passports, special passports, and other travel documents of equal value cannot use the visa-free option. We spoke about measures of control over the foreigners, who enter Belarus without visas. We shared statistics data about migration flows in both directions. If there are any more questions, we will surely answer them,” stressed the Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dmitry Mironchik went on saying that the Council of Ministers' resolution No.253 of 6 April 2017 had been released the previous week. “It is designed to polish individual aspects related to the issuance of visas,” noted the official. In particular, the preferences for issuing short-term visas, which are valid for up to 30 days, without additional visa-related documents to citizens of countries without migration problems have been clarified and better explained.

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