Deputy Head of the Operations Section at the EU Delegation to Belarus spoke about financial support to develop Belarus' border control system and EU willingness to speed up border procedures.
The European Union welcomes the Belarusian government's decision to accept Brussels' proposal to start visa facilitation and readmission talks, Audrone Urbonaviciute, deputy head of the Operations Section at the EU Delegation to Belarus, said in Smarhon, Hrodna region, on Thursday, speaking during the unveiling ceremony for an EU/UNDP project aimed at protecting migrants' rights.
According to BelaPAN, Ms. Urbonaviciute noted that the European Union had provided about €75 million since 2001 to develop Belarus' border control system. "We believe that the constant financial support is clear evidence that your work is useful and is done at a high professional level," she said. "Our relations are based on mutual interests."
Ms. Urbonaviciute said that the European Union was providing such support to Belarus to speed up border procedures, encourage tourism, legal trade and people-to-people contacts and prevent illegal migration and alcohol and cigarette smuggling.
She revealed that the EU had made a final decision to carry out a new international technical assistance project with the State Border Committee of Belarus and the Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The implementation of the €5.1-million project aimed at enhancing central and western sections of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border will begin in April 2014, Ms. Urbonaviciute said.