Commission Starts Negotiations of Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements with Belarus

Commission DG for Home Affairs, Stefano Manservisi and Belarus Deputy Foreign Minister Alena Kupchyna met in Brussels to launch the negotiations on Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements between the EU and Belarus. Since 2011 the Commission has been regularly reminding of its readiness to launch the negotiations.

The negotiations will focus on agreements to facilitate the procedures for issuing short-stay visas as well as the readmission of irregular migrants between the European Union and Belarus.

Once negotiated in parallel, the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission can only enter into force simultaneously.

Source: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/belarus/press_corner/all_news/news/2014/04022014_01_en.htm

News of Belarus

The website charter97.org announced winners of the National Human Rights Award 2014

This year's winners of the Viktar Ivashkevich National Human Rights Award are:

Vasil Parfiankou

The life of Vasil Parfiankou is a demonstration of how dissidents are treated in Belarus. Parfiankou has been jailed three times in the last four years for his active citizenship.

Belarussian political prisoners need European Parliament support

Today, on the occasion of the visit of Ales Bialiatski, a recently released political activist and Chairman of the Belarus Human Rights Centre "Viasna", Petras Auštrevičius MEP (Liberal Movement, Lithuania) and Hans Van Baalen MEP (VVD, Netherlands) commented:

President welcomes the release of Ales Bialiatski

Today, Ales Bialiatski, a prominent Belarusian human rights defender who became the first laureate of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize in 2013, was released from prison after spending almost three years behind bars.