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RF, EU agree on visa free travel roadmap – Lavrov

November 17, 2011, 19:28 UTC+3

“We hope that it will be approved at the summit in Brussels,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, November 17 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and the European Union have come to agreement on the roadmap for visa-free travel, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

After the talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton on Thursday, Lavrov said, “The roadmap may be approved at the December summit.”

“This is a full-fledged document prepared by negotiators,” the minister said. “We hope that it will be approved at the summit in Brussels,” he added.

“After joint steps are taken, it will be possible to start talks on visa free travel,” Lavrov stressed.

“We discussed preparations for the upcoming summit due to take place in Brussels in December. We determined concrete steps on the four common spaces. This will allow us to sign additional proposals.” According to the minister, “there is serious progress in each roadmap.”

“It is important that we succeed in achieving progress in our relationship and our strategic partnership despite global financial economic instability. Our relations develop dynamically and I’d like to rivet attention to coming to consent and understanding on the joint steps in order to approve the visa free travel roadmap,” he said.

“We agreed to do everything possible to approve all documents at the summit in Brussels,” Lavrov added.

Earlier, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia expected a quick settlement of visa problems with the European Union and hoped that European businessmen shared this policy.

“I saw online reports claiming that the German authorities opposed a visa free travel for Russia. I think the comments were erroneous because no one said that. The most active advocates of the visa free travel are businessmen who are suffering from excessive restrictions in the issue of visas and some other work issues,” he said.

“We wish a quick package solution. Hopefully, German businessmen share this policy and we will pool our efforts,” Medvedev said.

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