18 November 2017, Saturday, 6:04

Ukraine Not To Admit Belarusians Without Biometric Passports?

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The Ukrainian authorities could introduce new entry rules.

The Ukrainian government hasn’t addressed to Belarus yet with regard to the intention to ban the entry to the territory of Ukraine for the foreign citizens who have no biometric passports, since no later than January 1, 2018, Radio Liberty reports.

Spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Dzmitry Mironchyk said this at the briefing today:

“As of today, we have received no official notification, so we consider it premature to comment upon this intention. The exact terms of taking the decision on denial in entry for the owners of ordinary passports are unknown. The need for concern will occur after the Ministry receives such a message.”

Today, the border control between Ukraine and Belarus is regulated by an agreement on visa-free travel of citizens. It was signed in June 2009. It provides a list of documents with which citizens of Belarus and Ukraine have the right to enter the territory of the countries. In this list, biometric passports, as well as mandatory fingerprinting, are absent.

According to Article 4 of this agreement, the parties are obliged to immediately inform each other through diplomatic channels about the introduction of new documents or amendments to the list of documents used for mutual trips, and simultaneously send each other their samples.

Official Kyiv acknowledges that the decision on the need to have biometric passports will complicate the situation with countries in which such passports have not yet been introduced. Therefore, the Ukrainian authorities said that they would start urgent negotiations, primarily with countries that have the right to visa-free entry, "to provide mechanisms that will allow their citizens to freely enter the territory of Ukraine."

The Belarusian authorities plan to introduce biometric passports for the trips of Belarusian citizens abroad at the end of 2018.