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Ukraine suspends visa-free travel with Belarus: Cabinet of Ministers introduces new rules

Border of Belarus

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has suspended the agreement with Belarus on a visa-free regime. Accordingly, from 1 September 2020, citizens of Ukraine will need an overseas passport to travel to this neighbouring country. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported this.

“From 1 September 2020, Ukrainian citizens need overseas passports to travel to Belarus. At the beginning of autumn, the government resolution ‘On partial suspension of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Belarus Republic Government on visa-free travel for citizens’ will come into force,” the statement explains.

Officials explained these actions as Ukrainian citizens’ protection increase.  As in the case of a domestic passport loss abroad, the Ukrainian citizens’ identification by foreign institutions is long and complicated.

“Border patrol believes the border control term of each citizen will shorten significantly due to reading the foreign passports by automatic readers,” a frontier guard said.

At the same time, the State Border Guard Service stressed that the situation on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border is calm. Border guards continue to serve in an enhanced regime. No movement of military equipment on the border with Belarus has been recorded. An intensified exchange of information with the neighbouring party is taking place. Checkpoints are operating as usual despite the information about the alleged closure of the border with Belarus.

Bohdan Marusyak

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