MINSK, 29 May (BelTA) – Belarus and the European Union (EU) have completed all the necessary procedures for the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission to enter into force, Anatoly Glaz, Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told BelTA.
According to him, on 29 May the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received an official notification from the EU about the completion of procedures to ratify the agreements. Belarus finished these procedures in April. “Thus, all the procedures have been performed. The agreements will come into force on 1 July,” Anatoly Glaz noted.
In line with the agreement on visa facilitation, the cost of a Schengen visa for Belarusians will drop to €35 while the decision to issue a visa or not will be made within ten days. The agreement also provides for a possibility to issue a visa on an urgent basis and lays down the terms for waiving visa fees for certain categories of applicants
Once the readmission agreement comes into force, Belarus and the European Union will have to readmit their own citizens, third-country nationals, and stateless persons, who do not meet or no longer meet the requirements to legally stay in each other's territory.
Belarus and the European Union embarked on talks on the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission back in 2014. However, for a number of reasons, the parties could not come to terms fast. The documents were signed in Brussels on 8 January 2020 by Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, Croatian Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic (Croatia presides in the Council of the European Union) and EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.