Belarus-EU visa facilitation, readmission agreements may be signed in 2019

The European Union and Belarus may sign the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission by the end of 2019, Head of the European Union’s Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel said on Tuesday.

“We are currently working hard on the readmission agreement. I cannot say when exactly these documents will be signed. I hope this will happen this year,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the top EU diplomat.

In September, the European Commission submitted the signing of the Agreement on visa facilitation with Belarus to the working bodies of the Council of the European Union. The cost of a Schengen visa for citizens of Belarus will be reduced from €60 to €35 two months after the signing of the Treaty on Visa Facilitation and Readmission by Belarus and the European Union.

At the same time, the following categories of persons will benefit from a full waiver of the visa fee: children under the age of 12, persons with disabilities, close relatives, members of official delegations participating in government activities, pupils, students and post-graduate students, representatives of civil society organisations, humanitarian cases and persons participating in scientific, cultural, artistic activities and sport events.

In early October, Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was reported to have cancelled her visit to Belarus.

Earlier, Andrea Wiktorin, a former Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, said that Federica Mogherini might arrive in our country for ‘signing the visa facilitation agreement’.

Last week, the Council of the European Union reported authorising the decision on signing the agreement between the EU and the Republic of Belarus on the facilitation of the issuance of visas.

Meanwhile, starting from February 2020, Schengen visas may become much more expensive for Belarusians if Minsk and Brussels fail to agree.

Belarus – EU visa agreement may be delayed because of Lukashenka