Medvedev says Russia plans to ease visa procedures

MOSCOW, Jul 19 (PRIME) — Russia plans to ease the procedures to obtain visas for foreign tourists and business travelers, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a forum Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Russia is ready to liberalize the visa regulations with the E.U. without delay, as soon as the E.U. reciprocates, Medvedev said.

Russia and the E.U. have nearly finalized an agreement over a plan to abolish the current visa regime between the two sides Vladimir Voronkov, head of the department for European cooperation at Russias Foreign Ministry, said earlier in July.

In early June, Russia reached an agreement with the E.U. to extend the maximum period of visas for Russians to five years, Voronkov said earlier. In turn, Medvedev said in June he expected Russia and the E.U to finalize a list of measures aimed at abolishing the visa regime by the end of July.

Russia and the E.U. have been in talks on switching to a visa-free regime for several years.

Russia is currently in negotiations on finalizing an agreement to ease its visa procedures with the U.S., with earlier reports indicating an agreement could be signed by the end of 2011, following statements by Russias Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


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