Russia FM: Agreement On Mutual Recognition Of Visas With Belarus Almost Ready

Moscow and Minsk have drawn up a plan on setting up a common migration space and are preparing an intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of visas, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei.

Lavrov made the statement as he commented on the recent steps Russia had made to increase security controls on the border with Belarus.

Vladimir Makei (L) and Sergey Lavrov (R). Photo: mid.ru

“We have agreed on a three-year action plan concerning the setup of a common migration space, which will be submitted for approval to the Council of Ministers of the Union State,” Lavrov is quoted by TASS agency.

The Russian diplomat noted that the agreement will allow the two sides to coordinate the process of the entry of foreign nationals and stateless people to the Union State, BelTA reports.

The minister added that the consultations were initiated 10 years ago and were not easy.

Commenting on the Russia’s plan to establish border zones on the Russian-Belarusian border, Lavrov stressed that “these zones are not aimed to limit our citizens’ freedom of movement.”

“They (the border zones) mean only one thing – since there is no real border, then all foreign citizens who need visas to travel to Russia, will have to somehow record their border crossing,” the Russian top diplomat explained.

For his part, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei stressed that the most important thing is that the sides should ensure that citizens of Belarus and Russia enjoy equal rights.

“There is no need to dramatize it,” Vladimir Makei said as he commented on the media reports about the decision of the Russian authorities to strengthen control on the Belarusian-Russian border.