New Visa-Free Regime with Belarus to Start September 1st

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Ukrainians will need a foreign passport to travel to Belarus from September 1.

Ukrainian News Agency learned this from a statement of the press service of the State Border Guard Service.

“From September 1, 2020, citizens of Ukraine need a foreign passport to travel to Belarus. With the beginning of autumn, a resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On Partial Suspension of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on Visa-Free Travel of Citizens” comes into force,” the statement reads.

It is noted that a new departure procedure will work, which will improve the protection of Ukrainian citizens, since in the case of a loss of an internal passport abroad, the identification of Ukrainian citizens by foreign institutions is long and difficult, in contrast to the operational procedures for documenting travelers in case of loss of foreign passports.

Besides, border guards predict a significant reduction in the time it takes for each citizen to pass border control, since information from foreign passports is read by automatic readers.

At the same time, the prevention of cases of use of falsified passports of a citizen of Ukraine (in the form of a booklet) will significantly improve, given the insignificant degree of protection of the document.

It is noted that for the seven months of 2020, border guards found more than 300 fake passport documents, more than 20 strange and more than 1,300 invalid ones.

Citizens of Ukraine residing in the territory of the Republic of Belarus can issue a foreign passport at the Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk or the Consulate of Ukraine in Brest.

These institutions are provided with all the necessary equipment for processing passport applications of citizens of Ukraine.

However, citizens of Ukraine, who after September 1 will be on the territory of Belarus without foreign passports, upon returning to Ukraine, the border guards will allow to pass freely on their internal passports.

Attention is drawn to the fact that citizens of Ukraine – residents of the border regions of Ukraine will be able to continue to use the current regime of travel to Belarus at local checkpoints using internal passports and birth certificates (for persons under the age of 18) in accordance with the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Government of Belarus on the procedure for crossing the Belarusian-Ukrainian state border by citizens living in border areas, dated December 12, 1998.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after the recent statements by President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko and the extradition of the militants of the Wagner private military company who fought in Donbas to Russia, not Ukraine, summoned Ambassador Ihor Kizim for consultations to assess the prospects for bilateral relations.

© 2020 UNA

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