Russia, US may ease visa regime ‘in foreseeable future’

March 30th, 2011 - 7:46 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia and the US may ease or even cancel visa regime fairly soon, the head of the State Duma’s committee on international affairs said Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin told US Vice President Joe Biden in early March that Russia and the US would take an “historic step” by abolishing visas.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said some two weeks later that Moscow is currently persuading the US to sign an agreement to scrap visas for visits lasting under 90 days.

“The idea seems fantastic to some, but I’m convinced that it is pragmatic and may be implemented in the foreseeable future, if not the full abolishment then at least eased visa procedures,” Konstantin Kosachev told the World Russian Forum annual conference in Washington.

He said that Russia was ready to ease visa regime on the condition that the concessions were mutual.

The Russian authorities have long been trying to persuade Europe to drop visas for Russian citizens, but their attempts have so far yielded no significant results.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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