USA and Russia prepare new accords on visas to russian citizens

George Bush administration agreed with Russia's stand on the necessity to work out new accords on issuing visas for mutual trips of the two countries' citizens. The purpose of these accords is to remove the problem around issue of U.S. visas to Russian citizens, director of the consular service department of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Kotenev told journalists in Washington.

The question of working out such accords was discussed at the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday in the course of the Russian-U.S. consultations.

"The American side realised that the problem does exist", the Russian diplomat stressed. According to him, the numerous cases of delays and refusals to give visas to Russian citizens, among them representatives of official delegations, which have become more frequent of late, "threaten to develop from a technical problem into a political one".

Russia and the USA are now working on a new document which is called upon to replace the visa accords between the two countries attained in 1993, the representative of the consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

According to him, at the consultations in Washington the American side stated its intention to introduce a new procedure for issuing visas before the end of this year. Russian side insisted on the necessity to consider the question of issuing visas strictly within the 30-day period allotted for this.

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