The EU is not ruling out the possibility of signing an interim agreement with Russia on a visa-free travel regime, said European Commission President Romano Prodi in a press conference in Moscow yesterday. Television news program Vesti reported that Prody emphasized that 'it is a complicated question but the sooner we make it a goal the sooner we could conclude an interim agreement which would have its place in deciding the larger problem.'
He added that talks on the transition to a visa-free travel regime between the EU and Russia should begin later this year. The European Commission president emphasized that the transition to a visa-free regime in the long term would give 'practical confirmation of the devotion of both sides to the creation of a Europe without borders.' 'For this, we need time, and we need to strengthen mutual trust,' he said.
Prody added that in order to move in the direction of a Europe without borders it would be necessary to conclude talks this year on an agreement regarding the return of illegal immigrants.