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Eastern Partnership countries to sign roaming rate harmonization deal by 2020

The minister also pointed out that the European Union worked on the issue of free roaming services for 10 years.
08:05, 22 June 2018

Council of Europe

Countries that are included in the EU's Eastern Partnership program are going to sign an agreement on the harmonization on roaming rates, the Belarussian minister of communications and informatization Sergei Popkov said, 112.ua reports.

Related: Next Eastern Partnership summit to be in summer of 2019 or first half of 2020

Such was the decision made on Thursday in Minsk during the informal negotiations between ministers of the Eastern Partnership governments.

"Today we came to a decision that by the end of this year we will have a roadmap for the Eastern Partnership countries, and by the end of 2020 we will sign an agreement on the harmonization of prices on roaming services in our countries”, Popkov said.

The minister also pointed out that the European Union worked on the issue of free roaming services for 10 years. "Obviously, we cannot say it will happen tomorrow and everything will become cheaper overnight. What we are saying is that we are going to gradually reduce the roaming rates to nationwide rates within a country", - he explained.

Related: EU Unions: How can Ukraine benefit from 'Eastern Partnership+'?

According to the official, it is going to be crucial to find a balance of interests of mobile carriers on the one hand, in order for them to grow and to invest in new technologies, and the public interest on the other hand.

Eastern Partnership is a joint initiative that unites EU member states and six countries that were in the Soviet Union – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

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