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Belarus may soon start discussing visa-free entry to Schengen zone

Christian Fernsby |
Belarus may soon start discussing visa-free entry to the countries of the Schengen zone for Belarusians, Belarus Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said as he answered questions from members of the Council of the Republic on 2 April, BelTA has learned.

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MPs were interested in the prospects of Belarus-EU relations.

“The agenda includes the negotiations on a partnership and cooperation agreement and the completion of talks on Belarus' accession to the WTO.

“In the medium term, we may start discussing visa-free entry to the Schengen countries for Belarusians,” the deputy minister said.

In his words, Belarus has greatly simplified travel conditions for European countries.

“It was our unilateral decision.

“It does not mean there is a need for a reciprocal move.

“Today we are talking about the Schengen visa simplification, and in the future we will be talking about its abolition,” said Oleg Kravchenko.

According to him, the matter pertains to short-term Schengen visas, not the abolition of requirements for working visas in the EU countries.

“We do not seek EU membership.

“We do not ask for a so-called European perspective.

“Our interest is the cooperation of responsible neighbors who do not create problems for each other but help when it is necessary,” the deputy minister said.

“Belarus stands for deeper systemic contacts and ties between the EAEU and the EU, as well as between the CSTO and NATO.

“It is necessary for sustainable development of our region and minimization of conflict potential,” said Oleg Kravchenko.

Belarus, as the country presiding over the EAEU this year, will contribute to such a dialogue, Oleg Kravchenko added.

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