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08 February 2023, 15:16

Russian senator comments on Belarusian-Russian visa mutual recognition agreement

MOSCOW, 8 February (BelTA) - Vladimir Dzhabarov, Member of the Commission on International Affairs, Migration Policy and Relations with Compatriots of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, First Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia, explained how the Belarusian-Russian visa mutual recognition agreement will operate at a press conference in Moscow on 8 February. Many experts already dubbed this agreement as the Belarusian-Russian "Schengen", BelTA has learned.

"Citizens of Belarus and Russia have easily crossed the Belarusian-Russian border for a long time, since the Union State was set up," Vladimir Dzhabarov said. “But this border was closed for foreigners, although there were no border checkpoints. Nevertheless, a foreign national with a Russian visa could have been detained in Belarus. Now this will not happen, since the visas issued by a consular office of Belarus will be valid on the territory of Russia and vice versa.”

The MP noted that during the discussion of the agreement, some asked questions as to how to deal with those persons who are banned from entering one of the countries participating in the agreement. "In fact, everything is simple: we have a single database, as in the Schengen area," he said.

However, there may be exceptions. "There are cases when a person enters a country for some important reasons, political or economic ones. Then Russia or Belarus issue a national visa, which is valid only on its territory. We warn the person who receives this visa that he does not have the right to enter another country on this visa, because they are on their blacklist," Vladimir Dzhabarov explained.

"When it comes to ardent enemies, then I would say they have nothing to do in our countries," the Russian senator concluded.

A reminder, on 27 January Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the law on ratification of 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. Thus, the Russian side has completed all the necessary ratification procedures on the agreement. 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. 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.

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