The House of Representatives ratified the Belarusian-Polish agreement on cross-border visa-free movement of citizens. This document facilitates the movement of people in Belarus and Poland, who live in the area up to 30 kilometers on both sides of the border.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Valery Voronetsky which today represents a document MPs said that the agreement covers a 30-kilometer zone on either side of the border:
"If a part of a political subdivision is located between the 30th and the 50th kilometer of the border, it is also recognized as a part of the border area. Example, in the border areas are the Belarusian city of Grodno, Brest, Jabinka, Pruzany and Malorita and also Biala Podlaska on the Polish side. "
The document is to simplify the procedure of crossing the border for those who live in the area for at least 3 years, regardless of nationality. They are allowed to stay in the border areas 90 days for six months. And in order to obtain permission for simplified border crossing, residents of border regions will need to to pay 20 euros. To go further, beyond the zone, is not permitted.
Deputy Chairman of the International Committee of the House of Representatives Maria Biryukov said: this agreement activates the cross-border cooperation in economy, culture, tourism:
"It is necessary to note one more important aspect of the bill — simplified border crossing will contribute to the maintenance of related, inter-personal relationships between the people living on both sides of the border."
Valery Voronetsky said that according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the process is simplified real-border movement could begin in April 2011a. The Belarusian side to another to an agreement through the Council of the Republic, it must be signed by the head of state. The Polish side has all of these procedures are performed.
Political scientist Ales Lahvinets calls itself the ratification of the agreement "very positive":
"On the other hand, it could be be madea long time ago. Need it to the Belarusian authorities to exercise more freedom. Basically, if they really wanted to, they could do and to reduce the cost of Schengen visas for their own people. As for when it will be operational agreement, there is mentioned a famous proverb: the devil is always in the details. A Belarusian authorities are known for their zamaruzhvannem any good process. "
During the break, the plenary session I asked the Deputy Minister on the prospects of similar agreements with Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania. Mr. Voronetsky responded that the documents have been signed by the foreign ministers of these countries. Foreign Ministry will soon give them to the House of Representatives.