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04 October 2021, 16:11

Senators vote for suspension of Belarus-EU agreement on readmission

MINSK, 4 October (BelTA) – At a meeting of the sixth session of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the seventh convocation the senators approved the bill "On the suspension of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Belarus on the readmission of persons residing without authorization," BelTA has learned.

The document was prepared as part of the measures in response to the unfriendly actions taken by the European Union and its member states against Belarus, and provides for the release of Belarus from obligations to fulfill the agreement with the European Union on the readmission of persons residing without authorization during the period of its suspension.

"We have notified the EU in advance that Belarus would take certain steps. This document provides for the obligations of both Belarus and the EU. We have duly notified the EU that we are suspending this agreement. As for the European Union, it has not executed the agreement since August 2020. Therefore, we have made such a decision and have done it honestly and legally," Belarusian Minister of Internal Affairs Ivan Kubrakov said.

The agreement was signed in Brussels on 8 January 2020 in order to determine the procedure for the transfer and acceptance of persons who are in the territory of Belarus and the EU member states in violation of the procedure for the entry, exit, stay and residence of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The document was ratified by Belarus on 9 April 2020 and entered into force on 1 July 2020.

According to paragraph 6 of Article 23 of the agreement, each party may, by officially notifying the other party and after prior consultation at the Joint Readmission Committee, completely or partly, temporarily suspend the implementation of this agreement. The suspension shall take effect on the second day following the day of such notification. For the period of suspension of the agreement, the clock on the two-year period provided for in paragraph 3 of Article 23 on the application of readmission obligations in respect of third-country nationals and stateless persons shall be suspended) too.

At the same time, the suspension of the agreement does not prevent the Republic of Belarus from engaging in a simultaneous negotiating process to conclude bilateral treaties or reach agreements on the readmission of persons with individual member states in case of mutual interest.

"Adopting the bill ‘ On the suspension of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Belarus on the readmission of persons residing without authorization' will not entail negative financial and economic consequences. I think this measure is temporary and the agreement will be resumed once the bilateral relations normalize," said Belarusian Minister of Internal Affairs Ivan Kubrakov. “We are ready for dialogue, ready to resume this agreement, should our EU neighbors wish it. We are ready to work, we are open. But we want mutual respect. Unfortunately, we don't see that on the part of the European Union."

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