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Lithuania ready to enforce small-scale border traffic agreement with Belarus

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – On 1 March Lithuania handed over to Belarus a note notifying on the completion of the internal state procedures necessary for entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement on facilitation of mutual travel by residents of frontier regions. The relevant information was released by the Foreign Ministry of Lithuania, BelTA has learnt.

The agreement will come into force 30 days after Belarus notifies Lithuania on the completion of its internal procedures.

“Belarus continues the preparation of the agreement for implementation. As soon as this process is over, we will send to relevant note to Lithuania,” Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Belarus told BelTA.

“I hope that cross border cooperation with Lithuania will develop in the interests of the frontier regions,” he added.

The agreement on small-scale cross-border traffic allows residents of the frontier regions to cross the border on special permits, which give them the right to stay in the designated area of the neighboring country within 90 days for 6 months.

Permits for local travel will be issued to residents of the frontier regions upon presentation of the documents attesting to the economic, commercial, cultural and other relevant reasons for travel in the frontier territory.

Permits will be issued for a period of one to five years for a fee of €20. Permits do not provide the right to work in another country.

Population of the frontier zone on the Lithuanian side is about 800,000 residents and on the Belarusian site – about 600,000. Under the agreement, the term “frontier region” refers to the territory of the administrative territorial units up to 30km from the national border in the country and 30km to the border of the state but not more than 50km.

The agreement was signed in Minsk on 20 October 2010. The parliaments of both countries had ratified the document in 2011.