Tuesday 25 July 2017 | 11:53

Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  

26.01.2017  |  Politics   |  Aliaksei Jurych,  EuroBelarus
Andrei Yeliseyeu: Russia is taking drastic unconstructive steps  

There should be no actual passport control for the Belarusians arriving in Russia within the framework of the existing Belarusian-Russian agreements.

"We have been discussing a common migration policy for a long time. I think these events show it’s high time we sped up these talks and finally achieve some results.", - Siarhei Laurou, the Foreign Minister of Russia, commented the construction of the refugee camps in Belarus.

Therefore, the Russian minister favors "coordinating the parameters of a single visa and migration space" within the framework of the Union State.

Andrei Yeliseyeu, the analyst of the Eurasian States in Transition (EAST) Research Center, a Warsaw-based think-tank, believes the statement of the Russian Minister is strange. The expert explained  to the"EuroBelarus" Information Service why.

- On January 2017 Siarhei Laurou said the agreement of the European Union and Belarus on the construction of camps for migrants and refugees raises certain questions. What is the Kremlin concerned with?

- Firstly, there are similar camps for illegal immigrants in Russia. Russia has signed the readmission agreement with the EU 10 years ago.

Secondly, Russia was well aware of the negotiations between the EU and Belarus on the visa facilitation regime and readmission. In general, the existence of such camps is no obstruction to either the existence of the "black list" between Belarus and Russia or the existence of a common migration space.

And finally, Belarus is unlikely to begin admitting illegal immigrants from the third countries that have entered the EU through our territory in the nearest time. It is likely that Belarus will have a transitional period of a year or two. During this time Belarus will be obliged to take without delay only the Belarusians deported from the EU.

- Obviously, Russia uses the readmission agreement between the EU and Belarus to actualize the talks with Minsk on the common migration and visa policy. Why is it so important for Russia? After all, there are black lists of the "union state", according to which people undesirable in Russia cannot enter Belarus.

Belarus has become an important transit country for the Ukrainians traveling to Russia due to its geographical position. The agreement on the exchange of the "black lists" for some reason does not fully satisfy Russia. Possible reasons include a lack of confidence in the loyalty of Belarus and the desire to encourage Belarus to even greater integration of the migration / visa space out of principle.

- What should be the result of the negotiations between Moscow and Minsk on the common migration policy? In Russia’s opinion, of course.

- Russia is taking such drastic unconstructive steps as restricting foreigners to entry its territory through Belarus. Such actions compromise the existing achievements in the field of common migration policy. Apparently Russia wants to accelerate the formation of an even more common and coordinated migration and visa policy, but it is technically impossible to achieve it so rapidly and cannot be done by such methods.

- Is Moscow unilaterally making a full-fledged border with Belarus?

- Generally speaking, it is not a novelty for Russia to introduce a passport control for the Belarusians arriving from Minsk to Moscow by plane. There should be no actual passport control for the Belarusians arriving in Russia within the framework of the existing Belarusian-Russian agreements, a quick procedure of checking whether a passenger has the Belarusian passport top. In this situation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of should monitor relevant information and explain the people traveling to Russia from Belarus the actual regulations of entry and the Russian border control procedures, not the rules existing on paper.

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