The European Union believes that visa-free travel is possible for Russians wishing to visit Europe. This was announced on Friday, February 28 by Richard Wright, the head of the EU's Russian Delegation, at the seminar 'Visa-free Travel Regime between Russia and the European Union: from Utopia to Reality?'
According to Wright, 'a visa-free travel regime between Russia and the EU will help to strengthen bilateral ties.' He said that Russia was on the list of countries whose citizens have to obtain a visa in order to enter the territory of countries belonging to the Schengen Agreement. However, Wright added that the decision to abolish visas is always taken on an individual basis and depends on the state of the country's border guards, the level of illegal migration, its visa policy, and its readmission and repatriation policy.
Wright said that the next practical step towards abolishing visas for Russian entering the EU should be a readmission agreement between Russia and the EU, which will allow the flow of illegal migrants into Europe to be controlled. He noted that negotiations on this issue are already being conducted between Russia and the EU.
Wright also said that Russia should ensure the reliability and effectiveness of current borders and the border infrastructure, as well as developing cooperation with the EU in the fight against illegal immigration.
Following the summit in Riga on November 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance could respond to Russia's 'new aggression against Ukraine.'