Belarus border guards sceptical about Ukraine’s plastic passport

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has responded to the statement of the State Border Committee of Belarus on the new Ukrainian biometric passports.

Belarusian Ministry officials said that the Ukrainian passport as ID-card (e-passport) is not currently considered as the valid document, allowing to pass through the Belarusian border.

Ukraine’s Department of Consular Service (DCS) recalled that in June 2009 between Ukraine and Belarus was signed an intergovernmental agreement on visa-free trips of citizens. According to Article 1 of the agreement, Ukrainians have to have on them one of the following documents: passport of the citizen of Ukraine, Ukrainian passport to travel abroad, a diplomatic, official passport, travel document of the child.

The agreement provides for the need to “immediately inform through diplomatic channels of the introduction of new documents or amendments to documents used in accordance with the objectives of this Agreement, and at the same time their designs are to be sent to the partners.”

“In connection with Ukraine introducing passports of the citizens of Ukraine in the form of a plastic card, the Belarusian side received in December 2015 a corresponding diplomatic note and e-passport samples,” DCS MFA of Ukraine wrote on Facebook.

According to Ukrainian diplomats, “Belarusian side expressed no concerns about using them (passports – within the relevant agreement to the Foreign Ministry.”

The Ukraine’s DCS reported that on the initiative of the Belarusian side, there are planned consultations about the implementation of the norms of the intergovernmental document. Ukraine introduced e-passports on January 1, 2016.,

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