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25 January 2023, 13:42

Russian Parliament ratifies visa mutual recognition agreement with Belarus

MOSCOW, 25 January (BelTA) – The Federation Council, the Russia's upper house of parliament, ratified the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on the mutual recognition of visas and on other issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons into the territory of the Member States of the Union State at a plenary session in Moscow on 25 January, BelTA has learned.

On 17 January, the agreement was ratified by the State Duma of Russia. Thus, the Russian parliament has completed the ratification of the document. Now it will be submitted to the president of the Russian Federation for signature.

The agreement was signed in Minsk on 19 June 2020. it was suggested by the Russian side. Belarus completed its ratification in December 2020.

The purpose of the agreement is to create a legal framework for regulating the procedure for crossing the Belarusian-Russian border by foreign citizens and stateless persons.

Presenting the document in the upper house, Yelena Afanasyeva, a member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, said that the agreement gives foreigners the right to enter, leave, stay, transit through the territory of Belarus and Russia on the basis of a visa issued by one of the two states and identity documents.

In order to implement the agreement, the parties are planning to set up an information exchange system on entry and stay permits, both issued and canceled, and on border crossings. The document provides that foreign citizens and stateless persons who have a temporary residence permit, a residence permit or a document for attending an international sports event in one of the two countries and an identity document shall have the right to enter, leave, stay, transit through the territory of the other state during the term of validity of these documents.

The agreement is expected to enter into force on 1 February.

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