5 Oct 2023 11:14

Belarus suspends agreement with Ukraine on protecting migrant rights

MINSK. Oct 5 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed into law a bill suspending the Belarusian-Ukrainian agreement on regulation of migration processes and protection of migrant rights, the law was published on the national legal information website on Thursday.

"To suspend the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine on Regulation of Migration Processes and Protection of the Rights of Migrants and their Families, signed in Minsk on May 19, 2003," the law said.

Both chambers of the Belarusian parliament approved the bill on September 19.

The bill reciprocated Ukraine's "unfriendly actions" towards Belarus, the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament said. "Its implementation will help protect the Republic of Belarus's national interests and will free this country of the obligation to fulfill the agreement while it is suspended," it said.

While introducing the bill to parliament, Belarusian Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov said 45,000 Ukrainian citizens came to Belarus over the first eight months of this year. A total of 13,000 Ukrainians have been naturalized by Belarus since 2014.

Over 119,000 Ukrainian citizens have come to Belarus since February 24, 2022, the Belarusian State Border Committee said.