Updated at 17:46,10-07-2018

Liberal Democratic Party to urge EU to simplify visa process for Belarus


The Liberal Democratic Party will call on the European Union to simplify the visa regime for citizens of Belarus, Aleh Haydukevich, deputy chairman of the deputy chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Russia was the main travel destination for LDP representatives last year, but the party`s plans for this year include "a European tour," Mr. Haydukevich said. The party will use the tour to tell European politicians that Belarusians should no longer be required to wait near embassies for days to obtain a visa, he said.

The interested sides should go to the negotiating table and decide how to make it easy for Belarusians to travel to the European Union, Mr. Haydukevich said.

Although the Liberal Democratic Party has examined the findings of the most recent poll by the Vilnius-based Independent Institute for Social, Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS), which also dealt with the Belarusians` geopolitical preferences, the party prefers not to divide voters into pro-Western and pro-Russian, Mr. Haydukevich said. "We have a different approach to the voters` preferences," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of Belarus` population are in favor of sovereignty. That is why we support both cooperation with Russia within various interstate entities and excellent relations with the EU."

The 35-year-old Haydukevich, who served as chief of the Frunzenski district police station in Minsk between 2009 and August 2012, is known for his role in breaking up street protests and arresting opposition activists.

As many as 243 Belarusian citizens, including a number of police officials, are currently subject to the European Union`s travel bans and asset freezes for their role in human rights violations in Belarus and support of the Lukashenka regime.