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Belarus, Norway agree to facilitate visa regime

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Belarusian-Norwegian political consultations in Oslo on 28 January 2020 / mfa.gov.by

Belarus and Norway have agreed to negotiate visa facilitation for the citizens of the two countries. The political consultations between the delegations of the Belarusian and Norwegian Foreign Ministries took place on 28 January in Oslo. 

The Belarusian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Aleh Kraŭčanka. State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Audun Halvorsen led the Norwegian delegation.

"Taking into account the recent signing of the agreements between Belarus and the European Union on visa facilitation and readmission, the parties agreed to negotiate the same treaties between Belarus and Norway in the shortest possible time," Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the official website.

Norway is not an EU member state but is part of the Schengen visa zone. Belarus citizens can apply for a Norwegian visa via the Embassy of France in Minsk.

Why is a separate agreement needed? š

“Norway a special agreement with the European Union on the use of the Schengen Zone rules. It applies them in a slightly different way than the other countries," Belarusian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Andrei Šupliak explained to Euroradio.

On 8 January, after many years of negotiations, Belarus and the European Union signed an agreement on visa regime facilitation and an agreement on readmission.

The EU visa cost for Belarus citizens will be reduced down to 35 euros effective from 1 January 2020.