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EU, Russia ready to present visa roadmap

Sergei Lavrov

The EU and Russia will in December present a joint plan on the introduction of visa-free travelling.

The two sides will in the upcoming December EU-Russia Summit formally approve a list of conditions for the introduction of a visa-free regime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists.

-We have completed the harmonization of the mutual requirements needed […] for the introduction of a visa-free regime, Lavrov said, RIA Novosti reports. –I hope this list will be approved at the summit between Russia and the EU due in Brussels in December, he added.

The visa roadmap comes one year after Russian and EU leaders announced that a list of measures would be elaborated. In the EU-Russia summit in December 2010, the political leaders decided to establish working groups which would sort out the steps needed for the facilitation of cross-border traveling.

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Russia has for several years pushed hard for the introduction of visa-free travelling with the EU and has put the issue high on its agenda with the EU leaders. A number of EU countries welcome the introduction of visa-free travelling. Other member states remain highly skeptical towards the idea, arguing that Russia will have to reform its own mechanisms for cross-border trade and travelling before it can expect expanded visa-facilitation.

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