MINSK, June 19. /TASS/. The foreign ministers of Russia and Belarus, Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Makei, signed an agreement between Russia and Belarus on Friday on mutual recognition of reciprocal visas, TASS reported. Moscow and Minsk had planned to sign an intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa recognition on 13 December 2018 in Brest at a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers. However, the signing was postponed because Minsk had not yet completed some internal procedures. This situation was then changed and the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, announced that all the proposals had been taken into account in the final draft. So far, bilateral discussions have taken place. Earlier, Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko spoke by phone that “work on the Russian-Belarusian intergovernmental agreement on mutual visa recognition is complete.” The Commonwealth of Belarus and Russia was founded on 2 April 1996.  The UNION base was strengthened on 2 April 1997, with the signing of the `Union Treaty between Belarus and Russia`, when its name was changed to the Union of Belarus and Russia.  Several other agreements were signed on 25 December 1998 to allow for greater political, economic and social integration.  Under the agreement, third-country nationals with a valid visa may enter the other country, stay there until their visa expires, cross the land border of Russia and Belarus by train or in the air and by major highways. Each party reserves the right to refuse entry or to shorten their stay on its territory. Mikhail Mishustin said: “I welcome the decisions taken today on our reciprocal issues related to the payment of energy resources.
She and we made all the agreements. Two decades after Russia and Belarus signed an EU treaty aimed at further integration, the two countries continue to debate the terms of the agreement without much success. The latest breakthrough took place in early February, with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko visiting Sochi to discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin the process of integration within the State of the Union. The two heads of state and government also met in December 2019, but failed to reach an agreement, although street protests against integration erupted in Minsk, highlighting internal political skepticism on the issue. Prior to 2004, Gazprom sold gas at Russian domestic prices to Belarus, mainly because of the process of political integration between the two countries. When this process stopped in the 2000s and late 1990s, Gazprom wanted to ensure a reliable transit of Russian gas through Belarusian territory by taking control of the Belarusian transit network. Gazprom attempted to buy Beltransgaz, the Belarusian network operator, but differences of opinion on the price led in 2004 to the gas dispute between Russia and Belarus, in which Gazprom ceased deliveries to Belarus on 1 January 2004. A new gas contract was signed in June 2004 and relations between the two countries subsequently improved.