Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has proposed that the European Union consider introducing visa-free travel to Europe for Russian citizens. The BBC reports that, during a meeting of the Russia-EU cooperation council, the Russian Foreign Minister put forward the idea of creating a working group to identify and abolish obstacles to freedom of movement across European borders.
The idea of visa-free travel to Europe for Russians was first raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. EU representatives reacted cautiously to the proposal, saying that it could be examined, but only in the long-term future. According to Ivanov, Russia needs to resolve many problems, including that of illegal migration, before a visa-free regime can be introduced with EU countries. However, the minister said that 'we have a joint understanding that we need to work towards this goal together.'