Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Russia hopes the European Union will ease visa requirements for Russians in response to Russian moves on the issue.
“We’ve made a step looking forward, hoping that our partners in Sweden and other EU countries would see it and make a response towards solving this important issue,” Putin said at a meeting with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.
The premier’s statement came after Russia had established a visa-free regime for Swedes making three-day trips to Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
Putin stressed that Russians, however, do not receive similar treatment in Sweden, which he called “a violation of the principle of reciprocity.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a Russia-EU summit last summer that the time is ripe for scrapping the visa regime between Russia and the EU. “We want a visa-free regime,” he said. “We think that we are ready for this; our businesses and people are in favor of it; you could say it is the spirit of the time.”
EU delegation to Russia head Fernando Valenzuela told RIA Novosti last November that it was too early to discuss any specific timeframe for the scrapping of visas because there were too many issues that had to be jointly resolved.
STOCKHOLM, April 27 (RIA Novosti)