Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Minsk, European Commission to hold consultations on visa rules


Belarusian government officials and representatives of the European Commission will hold a round of consultations on visa formalities and readmission.

An agreement to this effect was reached at a meeting held by Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhey Martynaw and Jacques Barrot, vice president of the European Commission and the European Union’s commissioner responsible for justice, freedom and security, in Brussels earlier this week.

The European Commission vice president said that he understood "the need for cooperation on visa problems that Belarusian citizens have been facing since the accession of the neighboring EU countries to the Schengen Agreement," according to the Belarusian foreign ministry’s press office.

Under discussion also were border control and fight against illegal migration. The press office said that Mr. Barrot welcomed "efforts by the Republic of Belarus to counter organized crime, human trafficking and other common challenges."

While in Brussels, Mr. Martynaw also reportedly met with Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, to discuss cooperation between Belarus and the 27-nation bloc in the financial and economic sphere. The talks focused on prospects for broader cooperation between lending and investment cooperation. Apart from this, they discussed the European Commission’s approaches in the context of the move by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to review its strategy toward Belarus, the press office said.