Posted on 13.10.2012 in Belarus, Featured, News

Activists urge to sign a petition to expedite the implementation of the Agreement on local border traffic with Poland

Planned and announced introduction of local border traffic provides for the citizens of Belarus and Poland, living thirty kilometers from the border, to cross it on a special card for the resident of border area. The card is issued for a long time and costs about 20 euros. Experts estimate that about 1 million 200 thousand inhabitants of Brest and Grodno regions and about 700 thousand inhabitants of Podlaskie Voivodeship and Lublin in Poland can benefit from using the document.


According to the agreement, 30 kilometers from the border there are 89 Belarusian administrative units and 93 Polish ones. The participants of the local border traffic can get special permission to cross the border for a period of 2 years which can be extended to 5 years.

Citizens living in the border area for at least three years will be granted the necessary documents by the Consulate of Poland. The cost of 20 euros includes multiple cross the border and stay in the 30-kilometer zone in Poland up to 90 days within six months. Children under 18 years of age, disabled and pensioners will be able to get permission for free.

Belarusian-Polish agreement on local border traffic is the first such agreement signed by Belarus and the European Union.

As a result of the local border traffic introduction an economic cooperation activates, contacts between local authorities are being revived and the ties  between citizens living on either side of the border become tinier.

The Polish side proposed agreement with Belarus in February 2008. February 12, 2010 the agreement was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Poland – Sergei Martynov and Radoslaw Sikorski. Both houses of the parliament of Poland ratified the Belarusian-Polish agreement on May 20, 2010. June 22, 2010 the contract was signed by the former Speaker of Polish Sejm and acting President – Bronislaw Komorowski.

The House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus has ratified an intergovernmental agreement with the Republic of Poland on November 11, 2010, and November 17, 2010 it was approved by the Council of the Republic. President of Belarus signed the Law on December 1, 2010.

According to official sources Belarus planned to launch the contract in the second half of 2011, but it’s been more than two years since the adoption of the law, and the government has not yet started implementation of the treaty with the Republic of Poland. In this case, since February 1, 2012  the agreement on local border traffic between Belarus and Latvia came into force, and it is planned to implement such a treaty with Lithuania, despite a later date to start negotiations with these countries to introduce the mechanism of the local border traffic.

Belarusian authorities have repeatedly stressed the political nature of the issue of delaying the treaty coming uinto force in difficult Polish-Belarusian intergovernmental relations.