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28 October 2020, 13:19

MPs ratify Belarus-Russia agreement on mutual visa recognition

MINSK, 28 October (BelTA) - The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus of the seventh convocation ratified the agreement between the governments of Belarus and Russia on mutual recognition of visas and on other issues related to the entry of foreign nationals and stateless persons to the territory of the member states of the Union State Treaty, BelTA has learned.

“The agreement was signed in Minsk on 19 June 2020. The document is aimed at regulating migration processes on the territory of the Union State member states. The agreement defines that foreign citizens and stateless persons will have the right to enter, leave, stay and transit through the territory of Belarus and Russia on the basis of a visa of one of the states and on the basis of identity documents. As a result, the Belarusian visa system gets the right to issue visas valid on the territory of Russia,” said Deputy Chairwoman of the Standing Committee on International Affairs Olga Petrashova.

According to the MP, the ratification of the agreement would promote the development of international contacts, tourism and investment potential of Belarus and demonstrate the openness of the country for foreigners.

The agreement is expected to enter into force 30 days after ratification by the two states. Belarus will be the first to ratify the agreement.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yevgeny Shestakov added that the agreement will not affect the category of foreigners who come to Belarus as part of the visa-free entry program.

“The agreement will not affect the validity of the relevant decree providing for visa-free entry of foreign citizens through Minsk National Airport for a period of up to 30 days, as well as relevant decrees that provide for a 15-day visa-free visit to tourist areas of Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast. The only thing that is obvious is that foreign citizens, who have exercised this right, can respectively stay only in Belarus or in the districts of Grodno Oblast and Brest Oblast in case they do not have a visa of Belarus or Russia. If they have a Russian visa, they may travel to Russia during their stay in Belarus,” the deputy minister added.

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