EU seeks visa-free regime with Russia – Finnish PM

HELSINKI, August 9 (Itar-Tass) — A visa-free regime is a common major objective of Russia and the European Union, Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told Itar-Tass on Monday.

According to the Finnish prime minister, making travels between Russia and EU countries easier would boost contacts between people as well as trade and economic cooperation. Jyrki Katainen said Finland is actively contributing to free travels between Russia and the EU, and the fact that most visas issued to Russian nationals are multi-entry testifies to that.

He believes it is particularly important to make transition to a visa-free travel regime a controlled process that would take place when both sides were ready.

The prime minister believes that at the present moment major joint projects are aimed at expanding the freedom of movement, partnership in the sphere of modernization and talks on a new basic treaty that would establish new frameworks of relations between Russia and the EU.

He said that as a EU member state, Finland actively influences the shaping of European policy towards Russia, which will be an advantage for all.

He said economy is one of the key spheres of relations between Russia and the European Union. According to him, about 80 percent of major investments in the Russian economy have come from EU countries.

Besides, he said that Russia and the European Union also discuss issues of cooperation in the sphere of foreign policy and the strengthening of security, for example in the sphere of crisis management.


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