What is the status talks on the visa issue between the official Minsk and Brussels? Who and why the European Union is opposed to price reductions of Schengen visas for Belarusian citizens? With these questions, we turned to Brussels to head office "for a Democratic Belarus' Olga Stuzhinskaya.
Stuzhinskaya: In fact, a formal dialogue between Minsk and Brussels visa problem yet. But I was glad to see the last decision of the European Council in line for the visa issue and the importance of people to people contacts and the words that the Council looks forward to the Commission's proposal, which prepares the Directorate for Internal Affairs of EC.
These proposals will be submitted to the Council for a mandate to start visa talks in the future between Belarus and the EU could be an agreement on visa facilitation and readmission (visa facilitation and readmission agreements). Visa fees will drop to 35 euros, will also be given more multiple-entry visas.
From my conversations with representatives of the European Commission that a lot of technical problems should arise, but there will be issues such as the duration of the Belarusian passports. The EU passport for a period of up to 10 years, we may be operating in the longer term.
There will also be the establishment of a center for illegal migrants who were sent back to the country.
Unfortunately, the visa issue is very closely tied to the political relations between the EU and Belarus. Despite the fact that, technically, the country is well prepared to facilitate the visa regime and readmission, but if the political bilateral relations can not develop, and the visa issue hangs.
Drakakhrust: Please explain the situation to political factors. According to some, the European Union, while maintaining a high visa "wall" does not affect the Belarusian authorities, and punishes ordinary Belarusians. And himself. Opinion polls show a close relationship between trips to Western Europe and pro-European.
There is a surprisingly move forward. On the one hand, we can recall the statement Lukashenko, it is not necessary to take out children for recreation in the West, for there they would pluck "not our" spirit. On the other hand, "not our" Europe acts in this case, along with Lukashenko. He does not want to Belarusians went to the EU, and the EU does not want to, so they went to her.
StuzhinskayaAll institutions of the European Union support the easing of the visa regime with Belarus. But we must remember that to this development has gone, be some minimal agreement on which you can work. And between Belarus and the EU, these key documents were not signed. So there is no legal basis to move forward.
By the way, the Belarusian government also claims that it is very interested to negotiations on the visa issue and went ahead to an agreement on visa facilitation and readmission agreements were signed. So there is a desire on the part of the official Minsk, and from the European Union. While some countries are still very firmly expressed. Not the last role that in Belarus very well worth the stigma of the "last dictatorship in Europe."
Drakakhrust: What is this policy that in countries that oppose reducing the cost of visas for Belarusian citizens? What is the argument in favor of respect for prices?
Stuzhinskaya: Basically, opposed by the Ministry of Interior, they are guided by the fear of illegal immigration, there is a fear for jobs. Musa and always have been against it.
In terms of countries, a good example — the Netherlands, which has traditionally opposed to cheap visas. The representative of the Dutch Embassy in Brussels at a meeting of the working group of the first Civil Society Forum, said that no regional approach to the countries of the "Eastern Partnership" should not be that we should look only at the bilateral relationship.
But it seems to me that the development of political relations have a chance to sign an agreement on visa facilitation and readmission after a year and a half.