EU eyes visa retaliation to halt migrant influx from Belarus

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission is proposing to tighten visa restrictions on members of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime. The move comes in retaliation for what EU officials say is attempts by Belarus to use migrants to destabilize the 27-nation bloc. The commission said Wednesday that it wants member countries to consider suspending parts of a “visa facilitation agreement” with Belarus that entered into force in July 2020. The deal was aimed at improving contacts and drawing the former Soviet country closer to Europe. The proposal would hit Belarusian officials, including members of government, lawmakers, diplomatic delegations and top court representatives. It would increase travel red tape and require them to provide extra documents and pay more for visas.

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