Russia, Germany and France pave way for visa-free regime between Russia and EU

42043.jpegThe leaders of Russia, Germany and France on Tuesday issued a joint statement which paves the way for a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union.

Dmitry Medvedev, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy expressed the hope that the Russia-EU summit in December would see progress in bilateral talks on scrapping visas, RIA Novosti reports.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is hosting Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and Germany's Angela Merkel for talks in the beach resort of Deauville in part to prepare for France's leadership of the Group of 20 leading global economies.

Discussions Monday night focused on Russia's bid for a greater voice in European security and foreign policy and Russia's relations with NATO. France and Germany are keen to include Russia in European security issues, while some in Washington and elsewhere in the EU have been less enthusiastic.

Sarkozy's office says Tuesday's talks are focusing on "human and economic" relations between Russia and the EU.

Russia wants visa-free access to the 27 EU countries - some of which are former Soviet republics or Cold War allies with which Moscow has had strained relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, according to The Canadian Press.


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