Closer to Visa-Free Travel

  • access_time23 March, 2012

Finally Visa-Free Travel between Russia and the EU?

Well not exactly there yet, but the Moscow Times reported the Russia's top migration official, Konstatin Romodanovsky, told the State Dume on Wednesday that both sides were close to signing a bilateral agreement on visa-free travel.

Romodanovsky said that Federal Migration Service and the European Union are currently in the process of signing executive protocols for readmission agreements, which is a condition for establishing a visa-free partnership. Furthermore, Romodanovsky points out that so far, 17 of 24 executive protocols have beensigned, and six more are ready to be signed. However that leave one remaining protocol, on which Romodanovsky did not comment.

One of the requirements from the EU was that Russia implement biometric international passports, which they have done, however the current version of the biometric passport contains only one biometric parameter, a 3-D photo. Romodanovsky announced that Russia can start issuing biometric passports with fingerprits this year.

It looks as though progress is being made, and I continue to hope that Russia will open it's borders to the EU and other countries.