INSK, 19 June (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia have concluded an intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of visas and other issues related to the entry of foreign nationals and stateless persons to the territory of the states participating in the Union State Treaty, BelTA has learned.
Foreign Ministers Vladimir Makei and Sergey Lavrov signed the document after the talks in Minsk.
Under the agreement, foreign citizens who have Belarusian visas will be able to enter Russia and, vice versa, holders of Russian visas will be allowed to enter Belarus. Foreign visitors will be able to travel by air, rail and six roads specified in the annex to the agreement.
Responding to criticism about the long preparation of the document, which could have been signed at the end of 2018, Vladimir Makei stressed that the result itself is important. “One might wonder how long our proposals or drafts have been on the table of the European Union, how long it takes for the EU to consider them,” the minister said.
Sergey Lavrov also noted that the time frames can be very different and the current delay between the preparation of the document and its signing is not a record one. “I do not think it is even right to ask why a particular diplomatic process takes this or that time," he said. The diplomat urged to view this agreement “as a big positive step rather than look for some dubious stories.”
As it has been reported, Belarusian head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko also met with Sergey Lavrov on 19 June. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry explained that his visit to Belarus was scheduled to take place a month ago but was postponed due the sanitary situation. Speaking about the agreement, the minister noted that it will be welcomed by third-country citizens who visit Russia and Belarus, business representatives, diplomats accredited in Moscow and Minsk. “I think that this step will be very well received and in fact will continue our joint efforts to develop the Union State,” Sergey Lavrov said.