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MOSCOW, April 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Bulgaria plans to open its visa centre in five Russian cities, Angel Georgiev, the head of the Bulgarian embassy’s consular department, said on Wednesday.
“Our mission plans to open visa centres in five Russian cities by mid-2012,” he said. “On April 27, such centre will be opened in Sochi, two more centres will be opened in Ufa and Irkutsk in May, and another two – in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in June.”
“A Bulgarian visa centre was launched in Kaliningrad on April 1, 2012. In all, eleven such centres have been opened in Russia since 2008,” the diplomat noted. “It means that our services will be available practically everywhere in Russia. We are sure Russian citizens will have no problems with obtaining Bulgarian visas this year.”
According to Georgiev’s forecasts, the number of Russian tourist travelling to his country is to go up by 20-25 percent in 2012. The matter is that from January 27, 2012 holders of valid Schengen visas can enter Bulgaria.
Speaking about prospects for Bulgaria’s accession of the Schengen zone, Georgiev said “it is one of Sofia’s priorities.” “We already meet all technical visa-issuance requirements of the European Union. It is expected that after the European Commission’s June report, Bulgaria will be admitted to the Schengen zone this fall,” he said.
The Bulgarian diplomat also noted that his country “hails abolition of the visa regime between Russia and the European Union countries.” “Sooner or later this issue is to be solved positively,” he stressed.