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10 July 2019, 10:54

Rapota: Belarus-Russia visa recognition agreement ready, awaits political decision

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) - The agreement on mutual recognition of visas is technically ready, awaits a political decision, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Grigory Rapota said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel on 9 July, BelTA has learned.

“The document has been drawn up. It just needs signatures,” Grigory Rapota said.

According to him, Russia has already expressed its readiness to sign the agreement. “As far as I know, the document is in the process of final coordination in Belarus. Technically we did everything. We are waiting for a political decision,” he noted.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a detailed account of the progress and of the content of the agreement in April in response to questions sent to The Big Conversation with the President.

The agreement provides for the full mutual recognition of visas (temporary residence permits and residence permits) and allows opening the joint border to foreigners, removing barriers to transit to Russia via Belarus. However, Russia will retain border control on its territory near the border. This principled position of Russia is reflected in the agreement, according to which the parties have the right to take measures to verify the compliance by foreign citizens and persons without citizenship with the rules for entry, exit, transit or stay in their territories according to the laws of their states.

Belarus and Russia were planning to sign the agreement on mutual recognition of visas at a meeting of the Union State Council of Ministers in Brest in December in 2018. However, Belarus did not have time to finish all the domestic procedures.

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