Russia Makes Another Big Step in Visa-Free World

The list of countries where Russians can travel without visas has become longer. The agreement about non-visa travel between the citizens of Russia and Brazil came into effect on June 7.

Russian diplomacy has taken a lot of efforts during the recent years to make the list of visa-free destinations for Russian travelers as long as possible. Russia and Brazil signed the adequate agreement on November 26, 2008 during Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Rio.

“On June 7th we are opening the visa-free communication between our countries. We agreed about that in 2008. This will definitely expand our opportunities for communication,” the Russian president said on May 14.

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Officials of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry later clarified the details of the visa-free regime.

“In accordance with the agreement, the citizens of the Russian Federation and the citizens of Brazil holding valid passports will be relieved of the requirement for obtaining entry visas on the territory of the state of destination for up to 90 days during every 180-day period starting from the day of the first entry,” officials said.

However, it turns out that Russians and Brazilians will have to obtain the Brazilian visas in their passports in certain instances.

“Citizens of one state will be obliged to receive adequate visas if they enter the other state for conducting commercial, work, religious, educational and charitable activities or if they enter for internship or scientific work,” officials of the Russian foreign affairs ministry said.

A flight from Russia to Brazil is not a direct one. Passengers have to make a stop either in Senegal or in Portugal. It is not safe in the first case and quite problematic in the second one because travelers have to receive a transit Schengen visa.

On May 14th, Medvedev and Lula decided to set up a workgroup to elaborate the conditions for creating direct air communication between the two countries.

It is worthy of note that the Russian-Brazilian relations have been developing steadily during the recent years. The two countries cooperate closely within the scope of the BRIC organization (Brazil, Russia, India, China), as well as the G20 and the UN. Russia and Brazil have not had any considerable discrepancies regarding key international issues such as the Iranian nuclear program or the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The abolishment of visas was another step to prove the friendly relations between the two countries.

Russia has come to an agreement to cancel visas with several other countries recently: Turkey, Serbia, Croatia (for summer period), Israel, South Korea and Argentina.

At present moment, Russian citizens can visit many countries without visas. Many of them are located in Latin America and on the Caribbean Islands. They are Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru and Ecuador. Chile is expected to join them soon.

No visas are required for Russian citizens traveling to Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia (up to 30 days with the presentation of a tourist voucher or an invitation), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Tunis, Morocco as well as several countries of Tropical Africa and Oceania. No visa is required for visiting the majority of republics of the former USSR, except for Turkmenistan, Georgia and the three Baltic States.

Citizens of Brazil can travel freely nearly all over the world and they do not need to have visas to visit the countries of the European Union, which is still a dream for all Russians.

Vadim Trukhachev

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov