Ukraine's Ambassador Criticised Idea of Canceling Visa-Free for Belarusians
Thursday, 13 October 2022
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus, Ihor Kyzym, is against canceling the visa-free regime for citizens of Belarus, noting that it might affect the Ukrainians themselves and cause "a lot of issues."
As Zerkalo.io reports, he said this to Delfi, commenting on the corresponding petition that has reached the required number of votes.
According to Ihor Kyzym, it is the wrong time to introduce a visa regime for Belarusians in the current situation. In particular, he explained that Belarus can resort to mirror actions in such a case. This would complicate the situation for Ukrainians who leave the occupation across Russia in transit via Belarus - to Ukraine or the EU.
The route across Belarus is the fastest. Belarusian officials are relatively loyal to Ukrainians. If Kyiv cancels the visa-free regime, the situation may become more complicated.
Ihor Kyzym also noted that the visa regime would increase the burden on the diplomatic services and "cause many issues," including humanitarian ones.
The ambassador justifies canceling visa-free travel with Russia, but at the moment, he does not see the need to take such a step concerning Belarus.
A petition submitted on July 4 with a call to cancel the visa-free regime with Belarus has reached 25,000 signatures necessary for consideration by the president. In response to the petition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy instructed the government to consider this issue, noting that he is "monitoring" the measures aimed at strengthening the regime of control over the border crossing by citizens of Belarus with Ukraine.
Zelenskyy reminded that the border of Ukraine with Belarus is closed for citizens of Belarus and other foreigners by order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from February 26. All checkpoints on the border with Belarus are closed, except for one in Volyn, which operates in a limited mode.