EU May Simplify Visa Regime With Belarus In 2-3 Months, EU Ambassador States

Accelerating the Belarusian-European border crossing is a matter of infrastructure, and the EU is investing money in it.

The agreement on visa facilitation will be signed by Minsk and Brussels after the completion of domestic procedures, which can take up to two to three months.

Andrea Victorin, the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, commented on the issue of  “border” initiatives of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

Visa and border crossing

She reminded that the EU has been already investing in border infrastructure on the border with Belarus and the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. She also admitted there’s more to be done.

“This is a technical question, we need infrastructure. Border crossings probably need more space. We need bilateral agreements between the two neighboring countries,” she said.

Victorin noted that the European Investment Bank will implement a project to modernize the infrastructure at the Belarus-Lithuania border crossing.

Negotiations on visa facilitation between Belarus and the EU have already been completed, there are no contradictions, the text has been agreed.”

Minsk and Brussels now should complete all domestic procedures before the documents are signed. According to the diplomat, this process may take up to 2–3 months.

Recall that Vladimir Makei and his deputy Oleg Kravchenko repeatedly urged Brussels to ensure that time for crossing the Belarus-EU border should take less than an hour.

Partnership priorities

Another document, the Partnership Priorities, remains in limbo due to disagreements over nuclear safety between Belarus and Lithuania.

Andrea Victorin hopes that the process will be defrosted after Minsk publishes a National Action Plan for the implementation of recommendations after the stress tests of the BelNPP.

Meanwhile, the EU representative believes that “it’s a little early” for starting negotiations on the conclusion of a basic agreement Minsk has insisted on.

“Before we can do this, the European Commission must receive the mandate of 28 member states for the negotiations. We must first sign the Partnership Priorities.”

Victorine says that the EU doesn’t put forward any preconditions for starting negotiations, but there are “certain expectations”  (the human rights situation in Belarus) in Brussels on this point.