Belarus needs to sign agreement with EU to have Schengen visa fee cut, ambassador says


Schengen visa fees will not be lowered for Belarusian citizens until Belarus and the European Union sign an agreement on cooperation and partnership in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, French Ambassador Mireille Musso said. 

If signed, the agreement would offer Belarusians “the same advantages that citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Serbia enjoy,” the diplomat said.

Citizens of these countries are charged €35 for a single-entry Schengen visa, while Belarusians pay a visa fee of €60.
When asked to explain why western European countries are lukewarm about a call for cutting the Schengen visa fee for Belarusians, Ms. Musso said that “countries of old Europe and new parties to the Schengen agreement have a single official policy, they have united, being well aware of their advantages and obligations.”

The French embassy in Minsk issues free visas to under-25-year-olds, as well as students planning to travel to France under bilateral cultural, educational and sports programs, according to the ambassador. //BelaPAN