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Russia & Turkey start visa-free travel

April 15, 2011

Turkey Russia Contract

Turkey Russia Contract (Source: Today's Zaman)

Turkish and Russian nationals will be able to travel between the two countries without obtaining a visa starting April 16, 2011. Turkey and Russia signed an agreement last May to lift visa requirements for their citizens traveling to the other side and the agreement will take effect as of Saturday.

The agreement between Ankara and Moscow applies to trips that do not exceed 30 days within any given period of 90 days. The change is expected to benefit trade, contracting services related to construction and tourism. According to the agency, 58 countries do not require visiting Turks to obtain a visa.

Last month, Russia was told by the European Union that it was not keen on establishing a visa-free regime with Moscow.
“Even if Russia abolishes visas for the EU citizens, the EU will not reciprocate,” Guy Trouveroy, the Belgian ambassador to Russia, reportedly told Russian News Service.

According to the diplomat, the main obstacle for a visa-waiver is the challenging areas of Russia’s Northern Caucasus with Europe being scared of a possibly huge immigration influx from troublemaking regions of Russia.

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