MOSCOW, 2 February (BelTA) – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Igor Petrishenko has refuted allegations of several mass media, which claim Belarus would like to drop out from integration associations. The Ambassador made the relevant statement during the program Vremya Pokazhet (time will tell) on the TV channel Russia One on 2 February, BelTA has learned.
The diplomat said that Belarus has been and will remain an active participant of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The TV program was focused on the decision of the Federal Security Service of Russia to enforce border zone regulations at the Belarusian-Russian border, mass media publications about Belarus' alleged pullout from integration associations, and Belarus' decision to introduce the five-day rule for visa-free travels for citizens of 80 countries. Igor Petrishenko underscored that the Belarusian border service works closely with the Russian border service to securely protect the external border of the Belarus-Russia Union State. He reminded that Belarus and Russia had signed the relevant international agreements. One of them was signed in 2015 and provides for using a common database of people, who are forbidden to enter the Union State of Belarus and Russia. According to the Ambassador, 90% of the people in the database are people barred from entering Russia. Belarusian migration and border service agencies honor their commitments as part of the agreement, said the diplomat.
Igor Petrishenko stated that Belarus' decision to introduce the five-day rule for visa-free travels will pose no risk for Russia. “We have given explanations to the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. None of the agencies, the people in charge of enforcing the laws had any questions to ask us with regard to the presidential decree,” remarked the diplomat.
The Ambassador went on saying that Russia uses an eight-day rule for visa-free travels for foreigners, who are eager to visit Vladivostok. Three days of visa-free travels are available to foreigners, who arrive in Saint Petersburg. “In other words, the Russian Federation embarked upon the policy earlier by introducing visa-free travels for the sake of invigorating business and tourism,” he stressed.