Russia cancels visa-free entry to the 2018 World Cup
Ministry for Sports of Russia proposes to abolish the visa-free regime for sportsmen and foreign journalists entering Russia to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The statement drawn up by the Russian Ministry for Sports foresees making alterations to the Federal Law “On preparation and holding 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation”
It should be clarified that in accordance with the federal law, foreign sportsmen, journalists and participants of the championship events included in the FIFA list can enter Russia without a visa for five months before competitions. According to the project of the Ministry for Sports, the visa-free entry for sportsmen, coaches and journalists is proposed to be replaced by a simplified visa procedure.
According to the information posted on the government website, in the course of joint consultations with FIFA, the Ministry for Sports and other interested federal executive authorities it was decided that, for security reasons, the above mentioned persons should enter to and depart from Russia on visas issued in accordance with the simplified visa issuing procedure.
Visas for athletes and other persons included in the FIFA list will be issued by the Russian Consulate for free on the basis of the requests of the Russia-2018 organizing committee for three days without charging the Consular fee.
“The Russian Federation guarantees that visas for participants of sport competitions and events will be issued without any special conditions, restrictions, charge or additional fees and without delay,” – was announced by the press service of the Ministry for Sports.
The Ministry also noted that the bill does not tighten the rules for fans and volunteers entering Russia.
Vice-president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia Alexander Kurnosov noted that fans go to the matches of their teams, that is why it does not matter whether they have to get a visa to visit the events or not. Alexander Kurnosov believes that the prospects for Russia as a tourist destination depend on political and economic factors.