17:26 05.11.2009

Belarus to ratify border agreement with Ukraine

An agreement on the state border between Belarus and Ukraine signed in 1997 is to be submitted to the Belarusian parliament for ratification, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko said on Thursday.

"We agreed to finish the process of the formalization of the border issues between our states. Today I want to tell Ukrainians and Belarusians that in a joint Ukrainian-Belarusian communique we agreed with Mr. President [Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko] to submit the agreement about the state border between Ukraine and Belarus for ratification to the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus. We couldn't get this issue moving for years. We have come to mutual agreement today," Yuschenko said at a press conference on Thursday following talks with Lukashenko.

The presidents also resolved issues related to a readmission agreement, Yuschenko said.

Earlier, Minsk linked ratification of the state border agreement with Ukraine with repayment of Kyiv's state debts to Belarus. According to different estimates, Ukraine's debt to Belarus is $80-$150 million. However, some mass media say there is no documental confirmation of the sum of the debt, which appeared in early nineties.

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