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MOSCOW, November 19 (Itar-Tass) — State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev said Russian lawmakers were ready to ratify an agreement on easing visa travel formalities between Russia and the United States in as short a time as possible.
At the same time, Kosachev said this would be a priority task of the next deputy corps. “I don’t doubt that this agreement will be ratified in time by all Duma factions. But all depends on how quick it will be submitted for our consideration. Sometimes it will take several days, and sometimes we need several months,” Kosachev told Itar-Tass.
According to lawmakers, the Russian government can hardly submit the agreement to the State Duma “in the last week of the work of the 5th deputy convocation [the latest session is scheduled for November 23].” “It’s most likely that the document will be ratified by deputies who will be elected on December 4. We have to hope that the next deputy corps will thoroughly discuss the document,” he added.
Kosachev described the signing of the visa agreement as “a step towards its full abolition”. But he warned that political will was necessary for this purpose. In his words, “The Russian leadership has expressed political will. But I don’t see the will from the U.S. side,” the Russian lawmaker stressed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the date of entry into force of the easing visa travel agreement between Russia and the U.S. would be specified further.
After the talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday, Lavrov said, “As for visa issues, today we’ve exchanged notes with Clinton. These notes are part of an inter-governmental agreement and this agreement envisions easing visa formalities between the two countries. At present, businessmen and tourists will be able to receive multiple three-year visas and officials of both countries will be able to get multiple one-year visas.”
“The document should be ratified by Russia. That is why we’ll inform you about the date of entry into force of the agreement later,” the Russian foreign minister stressed.
Russia and the United States have signed an agreement on easing visa travel formalities.
The agreement on easing visa travel formalities for citizens between the two countries was concluded on Saturday by exchanging notes.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said, “The agreement should be ratified by the Russian Federal Assembly. Three-year multiple visas, which are planning to be issued to tourists and businessmen of both countries, are not envisioned by Russian legislation.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed, “The exchange of notes will be the first step towards the key goal – to establish visa free travel formalities for a term of 90 days.”
The agreement is related to the conditions for issuing visas for brief official trips and the conditions for issuing business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas by the Russian Federation, and B1/B2 visas by the United States.
Under the note, the parties agree to issue multiple visas for the period of stay not less than six months from the date of each entry. The visas will be effective for 36 months from the date of issue. This agreement is effective if the parties observe the principle of mutuality.