Russia Urges the European Union to Consider Possible Non-Visa Travel Regime

In an article published on Saturday by the Russian "Izvestia" newspaper Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov stated that Russia expected from its European Union partners to agree to discuss in the near future the proposal of the Russian President to subsequently move over to a non-visa regime of travels between Russia and the European Union.

The Russian minister stressed that it was a difficult, comprehensive objective requiring a lot of efforts and settlement of a number of legal and organizational issues. In the opinion of the minister, it first of all related to strengthening of controls at external Russian borders.

Igor Ivanov indicated that "progress on that issue, from Russia's point of view, would become the litmus paper to demonstrate to ordinary citizens of Russia and the European Union that a single Europe without new separating lines was not a political slogan or a diplomatic phrase but an achievable reality."

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