Russia, US completing visa agreement

Russia and the United States are completing an agreement on the easing of visa regimes between the two countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“This agreement will permit tourists and businessmen to obtain long-term multiple entry visas, and also envisages one-year multiple entry visas for people visiting the United States and Russia on official business,” Lavrov said in a TV interview.

He added that the two sides are also discussing visa application processing terms and the list of documents needed for visa enquiries.

“We want this list to be concrete and as short as possible,” Lavrov said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed scrapping visa restrictions between the two countries altogether during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Moscow in March.

However, Lavrov said Russia and the U.K. were no closer to easing visa requirements. London insists that Moscow extradiate Andrei Lugovoi, whom it suspects of the murder of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, before a deal can be reached.

Lugovoi is a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament and enjoys immunity from prosecution in Russia.

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