Mora: First thing to do is to simplify visa regime

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The simplification of the visa regime between the EU and Belarus has good prospects. This opinion was expressed by Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Maira Mora, BelTA informs.

Answering the journalists’ question about the promising areas of cooperation, Maira Mora said: “The first thing to improve is to simplify the visa regime. And I think it’ll happen in short terms. Still, the physical ability to travel means a lot. In this regard, there is a need to improve the border infrastructure: to reduce queues at the borders, ensure its easy crossing.”

Earlier, Maira Mora informed that the EU had allocated more than 4.5 million euros for the State Border Committee and about 15 million euros for the State Customs Committee of Belarus for the development and modernization of the infrastructure at the borders.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus expressed her confidence in a favorable solution to the issue. “I think the negotiations will end and we will be able to sign this document. However, then we’ll face a long process of ratification; not from the Belarusian side, from that of the European Union. Because you have one parliament to ratify the document, we have 28,” explained Maira Mora.

Mora’s opinion shares Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus Evaldas Ignatavičius. “I think there is a high probability of achieving such an agreement. Almost everything is ready for that. Still there are some details, on which we disagree: for example, the quality of the documents, and other technical aspects. But I believe we’ll find solutions. Let us move in this direction,” he said.

He also noted that Lithuania and Poland were trying to simplify bilaterally the visa regime. In particular, the embassies of these countries significantly increased the number of long-term, two-year and free visas for Belarusians. “Of course, we would like to make visa prices cheaper,” said Evaldas Ignatavičius.

The agreement on visa simplification between Belarus and the European Union is expected to be initialed at the Riga summit “Eastern Partnership” in May.

The delegation consisting of 15 EU ambassadors is in the Brest region now on a study visit.

Text and pictures by TUT.BY