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Russia hopes for actual steps on visa-free agreement with EU – Lavrov

October 21, 2011, 22:23 UTC+3
Russia hopes actual steps will soon be made to abolish the visa regime with the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday
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MOSCOW, October 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia hopes actual steps will soon be made to abolish the visa regime with the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

“We have agreed with the European Union a list of joint steps, such as biometric passports, and registration of foreigners,” Lavrov said in an interview broadcast by the Radio of Russia, the Voice of Russia, and the Ekho Moskvy radio stations. “These absolutely real things that require a normative act, and such normative act is to be passed into law by both sides.”

“The list is to be approved at a Russia-European Union summit in early December in Brussels. It has all the answers to any questions asked by the European Union in the past several years,” he noted.

“I think this process will take months,” he said. “We would like to agree that as soon as the last of the agreed steps is made, we shall begin to work on a visa-free travel agreement between Russian and countries of the Schengen zone.”

According to the Russian foreign minister, the sides cannot reach accord when to start working on this agreement. Russia says it must be done automatically after these steps are made. “But they say, let’s wait and see. We hope they finally understand that they have no arguments,” he added.

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