Putin suggests time of non-visa regime introduction be determined by Russia-EU summit in Rome

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that proposals on terms and stages of introduction of a non-visa regime between Russia and the European Union should be prepared by the Russia-EU summit in Rome. The Russian Head of State voiced this suggestion on Saturday, at the Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg.

According to him, the reached agreements on launching the work of an expert group on the transfer to visa-free travel between Russia and the EU have failed to be materialised so far. "This is a vivid example of what we have not managed to do," Putin stated. He stressed that nobody had expected it to be done without delay, but citizens of Greater Europe must know when it might happen.

The Russian President made a special focus on travelling. "I am convinced that our common objective and political duty is to remove all barriers for travel separating millions of Russian and EU citizens," he stated. According to the President, Russian citizens look upon the current situation as "a new Schengen wall".

Meanwhile, the President believes the situation may become even more complicated due to the Schengen regime embracing new EU member-states.

The Russian President called on the corresponding Russian and EU Ministries to start elaborating all aspects connected with the introduction of a non-visa regime.

According to the Russian Head of State, most of his colleagues have their own proposals concerning ways and stages of resolving the problem.

"They can be summarised, formalised and brought to the expert level, in order to gradually but steadily move to the resolution of this involved issue," the Russian Head of State stressed.

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