Visa getting procedure to be simplified for Russians and French

Russia and France agreed to simplify the visa getting procedure for their citizens.

In a joint statement signed by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin on Friday the parties confirmed "their intentions to simplify the visa getting procedure for Russians traveling to France and for French citizens traveling to Russia." According to this document, the parties decided to conclude in the near future a relevant agreement whose draft is to be presented by the Russian party.

This agreement will make it possible to simplify visa getting procedures on a mutual basis, with the Schengen norms and the national right to both one-time and multiple visas issued for one or a few years observed.

Moreover, conditions of traveling for Russians to and in France as well as for French citizens in and to Russia are planned to be simplified. "Fees paid for visas may also be partially or totally canceled for certain groups of Russian and French citizens," the statement says.

Besides, Moscow and Paris intend to join forces to contribute to Russo-EU talks to make the agreements effective on a European scale.

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