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No visas for Belarus-Turkey travels as from spring 2014

MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – The establishment of the readmission center in Minsk should be completed on time, which means that visa requirements for Belarus-Turkey travels may be lifted as early as spring 2014, BelTA learned from Valentin Mikhnevich, First Deputy Interior Minister, Criminal Police Chief, on 13 November.

“Work is in progress and I think we will be able to open the center on time. It is difficult to specify a date,” said the official. He added they hope that the commissioning of the center will allow Belarus citizens to travel to Turkey without visas as early as spring 2014. “I hope that by spring it will happen because the economic burden on the budget of families [who leave Belarus for recreation in Turkey] will be lighter,” said Valentin Mikhnevich.

The official underlined the importance of the readmission agreement for removing visa requirements. “Any country, which opens borders and lets people in, has to establish control for the sake of national security,” he said. Once visas are removed, the risk of the arrival of illegal migrants in Belarus will rise. It is the consequences that the readmission agreement is designed to fight.

The official also said that in 2012 Belarus welcomed 17,500 Turkish citizens while the figure registered in H1 2013 was 8,500. The flow may rise once the visas are removed.

Speaking about deportations, the First Deputy Interior Minister said that ten Turkish citizens, who were staying in Belarus illegally, were deported in 2011, 14 citizens in 2012, and eight people have been deported so far this year.