Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would instruct the Foreign Ministry to study the issue of expanding the practice of a visa-free regime in response to restrictions imposed by Europe. He announced this on September 6 at a meeting of the State Council.
During the meeting, Zarina Doguzova, head of Rostourism, addressed the head of state and asked to return to the issue of introducing electronic visas and instruct to consider the possibility of launching this mechanism, which would also affect residents of unfriendly countries. “They do not want to see our tourists, but we would be glad to see their tourists. Let them spend their money here and get acquainted with our beautiful country with pleasure,” she said.
Vladimir Putin promised that the issue would be considered, he also urged “not to cling to reciprocity.”
“I would suggest not talking about specific countries… we shouldn’t impose anything on anyone, we just need to talk about bilateral cooperation. Regarding the establishment of a visa-free regime, it is necessary to consult with the Foreign Ministry. Some already have visa-free travel, why mention them? Just instruct the Foreign Ministry … But in principle, I would not cling to reciprocity in this case. I know that the general principle of the Foreign Ministry is the principle of reciprocity. Here, when it comes to ensuring our interests, we need to use principles when it benefits us, ”said the president (quoted by RIA Novosti ).
Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission approved a complete halt to the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. It will cease to operate from 12 September if approved by the EU Council. This also means that the visa fee for Russians will rise from 35 to 80 euros, and the waiting time will increase.
What threatens the abolition of the simplified visa regime between Russia and the EU, which has been in effect since 2007, read in the Fontanka analysis.
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