The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the open letter of tour operators
The official representative of The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova responded to the open letter of tour operators addressed to the department. The representatives of the tourist business proposed to simplify the visa regime for foreign citizens.
“We believe that questions of developing inbound tourism and attracting foreign tourists to our country should be decided subject to the interests of the state and its security, effective control of entry and stay of foreign citizens given the escalation of regional conflicts, activation of the international extremism and illegal migration. Despite the complicated international situation, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to work on simplification of visa formalities by the conclusion of bilateral agreements on the simplification of visas issuance process or even on the abolition of visas”, – said Maria Zakharova
According to the data, a visa-free entry to Russia was established for citizens of 106 countries (including 37 countries – on regular passports) in October 2015. Agreements aimed to simplification of visas issued on the basis of direct invitations were signed by 36 states. It is also noted that the negotiations on signing the agreements on the simplification of visa formalities are carried on with another 40 foreign countries. The official representative of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova stressed the fact that now the ministry is discussing the introduction of electronic visas.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted that, first of all, the department is guided by the principles of equality and reciprocity, and if a foreign state is ready to provide the citizens of the Russian Federation with the similar visa preferences, the issue of visa liberalization with the country will be considered.