Russia and Belarus prepare agreement on mutual recognition of foreign countries’ visas

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Russia and Belarus are preparing the agreement on mutual recognition of visas issued to their citizens by foreign countries. The statement was made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin after the talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

“We agreed to continue working to create a common visa space,” said the Russian leader. “We are going to prepare the agreement on mutual recognition of visas issued to our citizens by foreign countries,” added Putin.

“The time to review citizens’ statements to obtain residence permits shall not exceed three months. Of course, these changes will strengthen our bilateral contacts,” specified the Head of Russia. According to Putin, in general, Russia gives particular attention to the development of Russian-Belarusian relations in the social sphere. He admitted that earlier they made changes in the agreement on citizens’ equal rights for the freedom of movement and the free choice of their place of residence.

Interregional cooperation between Russia and Belarus

The Russian President advocated for the expansion of interregional cooperation between Russia and Belarus. He announced that stance after the meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. “It is indispensable to unlock the potential for interregional cooperation. Last year in Minsk we had the first Russian-Belarusian interregional forum on the development of agro-industries of the two countries. This year, in Nizhny Novgorod we’ll have the second forum where we’ll focus on industrial policy. We hope such meetings will become a regular practice,” explained Putin.

The Union State of Russia and Belarus

The Treaty on the creation of the Union State and the Programme of Action on its provisions implementation were signed in Moscow on December 8, 1999. These documents set the main directions and stages of integration, including the completion of the formation of the common customs and economic space, the unification of energy and transport systems and infrastructure of the fuel and energy complexes, cooperation in humanitarian and social spheres, in the spheres of foreign policy, defence and security. Before the two leaders signed the Treaty of the Union State, in April 1996 there was formed the Community of Russia and Belarus, and in April 1997 – the Union of Belarus and Russia.

They discussed the situation in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine was among the issues discussed by the leaders of Russia and Belarus in the framework of the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Union State. “We talked about the situation in Ukraine,” said the President of the Russian Federation.

Putin commended Lukashenko’s great efforts “to resolve the conflict”. “We are grateful for the organization of the recent Minsk negotiations in Normand format that were very difficult, but absolutely necessary,” said the Russian President.

Putin also compared structural economic reforms conducted in Ukraine with scoffs.

Text and pictures by TASS