Belarus And EU Will Sign Visa Facilitation Agreement THIS Autumn

Andrea Wiktorin, the outgoing head of the EU’s representation to Belarus, has said that the two sides are likely to sign a visa facilitation agreement ‘this autumn’.

Federica Mogherini, the EU representative for foreign affairs and security policy, may come to Minsk this autumn to sign an agreement on visa facilitation between the states.

“Maybe, maybe. Such an opportunity is being considered, the arrival date is being agreed on, but she is willing to come to Belarus,” said Wictorin.

Belarus eu visa facilitation

Vladimir Makei and Federica Mogherini, 2016. Photo: the European Union

In an interview with Belarusian news agency BelaPAN, she also confirmed holding talks on “signing the agreement this autumn” with Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei.

“It is important to say here that we completed all negotiations on the text of the agreement in June. Now the document is undergoing internal approval procedures in Belarus and the EU.

This morning, at a meeting with Minister Makei, we talked about signing an agreement this autumn. The specific date has not been set yet, but I must leave some work to do for my successor.

I strongly believe that we will sign this document,” said Wiktorin.

With the EU adopting a new visa code, visa fees for Belarusians wishing to enter the Schengen countries will rise from €60 to €80 on February 1, 2020. If an agreement is reached, the fees will be set at €35.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Belarus Sergey Rumas pledged to step up visa talks with Russia since the two countries are due to renew their bilateral agreement by the end of 2019.

Besides, the government considers extending its visa-free zones within the Grodno and Brest regions. “These measures are expected to give a boost to tourism,” Rumas told the Belarusian media.