Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Belarus MFA wants Belarusians to get Schengen visa for two or more years

Zmicier Lukashuk, Euroradio

But the increase in the number of consular officers in foreign embassies is unlikely.

The second round of talks between Belarus and the EU on visa facilitation and readmission will be held in Brussels on 24-25 November.

The talks will focus on proposals of the Belarusian side, aimed at facilitating the procedures for issuing visas, their extension and simplification of travel for citizens in general. This was announced by the head of Belarus MFA press service, Dzmitry Mironchyk. At the request of Euroradio, he explained what exactly is meant by these proposals.

Mironchyk: Our proposals are aimed, for example, at ensuring that our citizens have a comprehensive list of documents that must be submitted to the Embassy for a visa. So that they did not have to run around for some papers, additional documents and so on.

Moreover, the Belarusian side insists that each new visa was issued for a longer period than the previous one. If, for example, the first visa was for three months, and the person did not violate any law during their stay in the EU, the following visa should be issued for one year, and the third one - for two years and so on. This, according to the Belarusian side, will encourage our citizens to "obey the laws of both the EU and Belarus".

Euroradio wondered about the increase the number of consular officers in European embassies within the proposed "simplification of the procedure for issuing visas". Because it is from a lack of staff that there are long queues to submit documents for a visa.

Mironchyk: The considered agreement has a framework nature and will apply to all the countries of the Schengen zone. And the number of staff involved in the issuance of visas ... I honestly do not think that it will be governed by this kind of agreement.

The long queues that were due to the lack of consular staff were repeatedly highlighted by the Polish ambassador Leszek Sherepka. But the Belarusian MFA does not allow to increase the number of employees.