President Medvedev calls for lifting Russia-EU visa regime

BERLIN, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday he hoped the visa regime between Russia and the European Union will not only be simplified but completely lifted.

“We actually view the problem of visas as a rudiment from the past, which Europe should refuse [in order to] build full-fledged relations with Russia,” Medvedev said at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Christian Wulff in Berlin.

Wulff said that some progress has already been achieved in easing the visa regime between Russia and the EU.

“There are joint steps that have already been taken and I hope that we follow these steps and achieve a simplified visa regime,” the German president said.

Russia and the European Union have already reached an agreement on long-term visas for up to five years. The EU currently issues short-term visas from several days to one year, although the Schengen Agreement allows five-year visas.

Five-year visas will not be issued immediately but only after a person has received a short-term visa and proved his responsibility.

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