Schengen visa facilitation and readmission talks held in Minsk
Representatives of the Belarusian Foreign and Interior Ministries met with experts of the European Commission in Minsk on Thursday to discuss draft visa facilitation and readmission agreements.
The draft visa facilitation agreement was discussed during a round of consultations at the Foreign Ministry.
Participants are looking the expediency of a whole range of specific proposals by the Belarusian government, Dzmitry Mironchyk, spokesman for the Belarusian foreign ministry, said at Thursday’s briefing. Belarus had sent these proposals to the European Commission after receiving a draft framework visa facilitation agreement from the Commission at the beginning of the year, he said.
According to Mr Mironchyk, the proposals reflect ‘progressive approaches’ behind similar agreements with other countries involved in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program and behind the liberalization of the EU’s visa policy in general.
A round of consultations on the readmission agreement will take place at the interior ministry later in the day, he said.
The EU has already signed visa facilitation agreements with Russia and all Eastern Partnership countries except Belarus. The visa fee for the citizens of those countries has been lowered from €60 to €35.