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Strong hope for Belarusian-Russian Schengen-like zone in foreseeable future

Society 27.12.2017 | 19:45
Grigory Karasin
Grigory Karasin

MOSCOW, 27 December (BelTA) – The Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects that Belarus and Russia will be able to establish “a Schengen zone for two” in the foreseeable future. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin made the statement in an interview with BelTA and reporters of mass media of the Union State of Belarus and Russia on 27 December.

Grigory Karasin noted that as the first step to create common visa space a draft Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement is being developed to enable the mutual recognition of visas and regulate other matters concerning the arrival of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. In line with the agreement Belarusian visas will allow foreigners to stay in Russia and vice versa, noted the official.

Grigory Karasin said that, on the one hand, the agreement is supposed to keep the Belarusian-Russian border open and, on the other hand, prevent all possible risks relating to the penetration of Belarus' and Russia's territories by terrorists and radicals. Grigory Karasin said that Belarus and Russia would like to avoid such problems, this is why details of the agreement are being so thoroughly worked out. “Experts have met several times. These matters have also been discussed by the prime ministers. We are supposed to come up with a complete agreement within the next few weeks. I hope it will be signed and will come into force in the next few months,” said Grigory Karasin.

The Russian deputy minister of foreign affairs noted that the mutual visa recognition agreement is an important step on the way towards the common visa space. “Certainly, the common visa space is something more than the recognition of visas. But the agreement is a good stepping stone because we've declared the common visa space as a common goal. I am convinced it will be reached in the foreseeable future,” concluded Grigory Karasin.

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