Experiment on issuing short-term visas to foreign nationals in the Kaliningrad region
According to the report posted on the official website of the Representative Office of MFA of Russia in the Kaliningrad region, starting from January 1, 2017 the MFA of Russia stops the experiment on issuing short-term 72 hours tourist visas to foreign nationals and stateless person crossing the border of the region.
This decision of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs caused a negative reaction on the part of the government of the Kaliningrad region which, as noted in the report of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), sent to the MFA a letter requesting not to stop the “tourism 72 hours” experiment in the region.
“We believe that this program should exist at least until 2018 when Russia is going to host the FIFA World Cup”, – said Andrey Yermak, the provisional Minister of Tourism of the Kaliningrad region.
According to A. Ermak, the experiment on issuing short-term visas may also promote the development of the region, since the program proves its readiness to host foreign tourists. “Visa simplified regime on the border would allow us to develop bus tourism and increase the number of visas issued in the Kaliningrad region in 2017. Besides, the region would gradually attract non-massive tourist such as residents of the Scandinavian countries and the UK”, – said the Minister.
It is reported that the issue on simplification of visa regime for foreign national arriving to the Kaliningrad region will be settled by the Federal law “On special economic zone in the Kaliningrad region”. Draft amendments to the document are now being developed by The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.