Ukrainian ID cards ‘not valid' for crossing Belarusian border
Belarus does not consider Ukrainian ID cards as valid documents for crossing the border. The statement was made by Dmitry Mironchik, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 31 March, BelTA has learned.
According to the source, when Belarus and Ukraine signed the relevant agreement in 2009, the introduction of plastic cards with or without contactless digital chips instead of paperback passports was nowhere on the horizon. “This is why Belarus does not consider the new domestic passports introduced by Ukraine on 1 January 2016 as valid documents for crossing the border,” explained the official.
The issue will be discussed in detail during consultations in Minsk. Consultations on the Belarusian-Ukrainian intergovernmental agreement on visa-free travels of citizens of 12 June 2009 will take place on 31 March and will involve representatives of interested Belarusian government agencies.
The agenda will include the enforcement of the agreement and its adjustment to include documents considered valid for Ukrainian citizens to enter, leave, cross in transit, and stay in Belarus. “The adjustments are necessitated by the unification of requirements for travel documents in compliance with ICAO norms and the improvement of Belarusian state border crossing procedures,” explained Dmitry Mironchik.
The practice of the agreement's enforcement indicates that the majority of Ukrainian citizens use domestic Ukrainian passports for crossing the Belarusian border. “These passports fail to comply with ICAO standards and are poorly protected against forgeries. Due to the lack of machine-readable information in domestic passports of Ukrainian citizens Belarusian border service officers have to enter the data manually. The constraint negatively affects the throughput capacity of Belarusian-Ukrainian border checkpoints and the quality of services available to natural persons,” noted the spokesman of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.