Belarusian authorities seem to be in no hurry to ratify the agreement on local border traffic with Poland. This delay is causing difficulties for more than 1 million Belarusians living in the border zone between the two countries.
Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is calling on Belarusian authorities to advance the decision-making process concerning the agreement on local border traffic. Signing it would allow residents from both countries free border crossing. The area covered by the agreement includes such big Belarusian cities as Grodno and Brest. It would result in more than 1 million citizens who, without excessive formalities, could remain in the Polish border zone even up to 7 days. Polish Foreign Ministry announced that it had been ready to commence proceedings for more than a year, whereas Belarusian side remains silent in regards to setting a date of finalizing the process.
The stalemate over the border issues has been doing further damages to this already tense situation between Poland and Belarus. Journalists of Belarusian section of Radio Svoboda documented at the Grodno railway station a flock of passengers who were madly rushing to secure a good place in a train going to Bialystok, Poland. A better seat means less time spent at a crossing point and more – on trading, an activity that provides for many citizens of Belarusian border cities.
Watch a video from Grodno:
Translated by KD