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2019.10.09 16:57

Lukashenko’s absence postpones Lithuanian FM visit, visa talks with EU

LRT.lt2019.10.09 16:57

EU’s Eastern Partnership meeting that should have taken place in Minsk to discuss visa liberalisation for Belarus was cancelled due to Alexander Lukashenko’s absence.

The Poland-based Belarusian news agency Belsat reported on Wednesday that the EU’s chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, cancelled her visit to Minsk scheduled for October 4, as Lukashenko met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instead.

After Mogherini’s cancellation, Lithuanian and Polish foreign ministers also postponed their visits.

“Unfortunately, the visit [by Mogherini] did not take place, as the President of Belarus is also not in the country. But I hope that the visa agreement will be signed, as well as the agreement on the priorities of the partnership between the EU and Belarus,” Belarusian media ONT quoted the statement of European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn.

Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that the EU’s Eastern Partnership meeting was not cancelled, but postponed.

From February 2020, Schengen visas may become much more expensive for Belarusians if Minsk and Brussels fail to sign the visa facilitation agreement, according to Belsat.