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European leaders’ delays in canceling visas with Russians shortsighted - Medvedev

October 20, 2011, 18:55 UTC+3

Russia and the EU, according to Medvedev, are "absolutely connected" with each other

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MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described as “shortsighted” the position of European leaders, who delay the cancellation of visas in relations with Russia.

As he said at a meeting with a youth audience at the Moscow State University, his counterparts in the EU countries acknowledged that for the transition to a visa-free regimen there existed no objective obstacles. However, the invitation to take this step usually evoked the standard reply, “Well, we are prepared for this, but not for everything at once, let us move step by step, as I was told today.” Medvedev arrived at the Moscow State University with the visiting Dutch prime minister.

"This, in my opinion, is a short-sighted position, because the more we communicate with the Europeans, the EU countries, the better the atmosphere in our united Europe," said Medvedev.

"Without them, we are unlikely to succeed so quickly to modernize ourselves ... Without us they also cannot develop, because Russia is a state that provides not only energy, but also intelligent products, many of which are used in Europe," he added.

Russia and the EU, according to Medvedev, are "absolutely connected" with each other. "The sooner my partners understand that they must think the way we do, the better for all of us - for Russia and the EU," Medvedev told a young man, who raised the issue of visas.

The man told the president that his father was an ethnic Czech living in the EU and that visa requirements significantly limited the opportunity of seeing each other.

"I could leave Russia to get citizenship and live there, but I shall never do this, because here I have before me vast opportunities, including those opening up with the policy of modernization that you are conducting," he told Medvedev.


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