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MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and the European Union have the full list of joint steps that will allow the sides to pass to the negotiations on the visa-free regime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the negotiations with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski on Wednesday.
“Russian citizens, who live in the Kaliningrad Region, and residents of two Polish provinces will be able to cross the border without any visas, but with the documents that give a permit to this effect,” Lavrov elaborated. “So, new broad opportunities for tourism and business contacts open up,” he noted. The Russian minister thanked his Polish counterpart for his consistence and his personal contribution in drafting the document. “The agreement was drafted for a record short period of time with due account of bureaucratic procedures. I thank my EU colleagues for their flexibility,” he went on to say.
The Russian foreign minister is convinced that the agreement on local transboundary movement, which Russia and Poland signed on Wednesday, “will precede the soonest transition to a visa-free regime between Russia and the EU.” “The visa-free regime is a vitally important goal for us. At an upcoming Russia-EU summit in Brussels we will report that the list of joint steps between Russia and the EU is completely ready and coordinated that will allow the sides to pass to the negotiations on a treaty for the visa-free regime,” the Russian minister said.
Speaking on Russian-Polish relations, Lavrov stated that the bilateral relations are improving in all trends. “The political dialogue is intensive, the trade is growing to reach about 20 billion dollars. The trade increased by more than a third for six months of this year,” he said.
Speaking on the agenda of the Wednesday negotiations, the foreign minister said that the negotiators discussed the security issue in the Euro-Atlantic region and what influence the debates over US missile defence plans in Europe have. “We believed and continue to believe how to avert growing passions and to find a solution, which will meet the security of interests of all countries in the Euro-Atlantic region. The meetings between the academician circles of Poland, Germany, Russia and France will give a useful support for a scientific analysis of the problems to form a common security space.”
The Russian minister also mentioned the Russian-German-Polish format, which will have a next ministerial meeting in the first quarter of 2012. “Scientists meet in this format and I believe that they will make an intellectual contribution in the creation of an indivisible security space,” he said with confidence.