13 Dec 2018 19:01

Minsk, Moscow postpone signing of agreement on mutual visa recognition

BREST. Dec 13 (Interfax) - Belarus has not yet completed the internal procedures to approve its agreement with Russia on the mutual recognition of visas and hopes to sign the document in the near future.

"Today we did not sign the agreement on the mutual recognition of visas. The Belarusian side was unable to complete internal state procedures in time by the meeting," Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas told reporters in Brest where the Union State Council of Ministers met on Thursday.

The parties are hoping to sign it in the near future, he said.

Under the agreement, the two countries allow holders of each other's visas to travel to and from the other and stay there while the visa is valid. A foreigner with a Belarusian visa can travel to Russia and stay there for the duration of the visa validity period.

Russia has promised to remove controls at airports on flights from Belarus once the agreement is signed.

The document also involves an integration of information resources: Russian and Belarusian authorities will be sharing data such as border-crossings, issued and cancelled visas, temporary or permanent residence permits.

Both sides had announced plans to sign the agreement at a Union Council of Ministers meeting on December 13.