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MOSCOW, May 24 (Itar-Tass) — Facilitating a visa regime with the United States in the long run will lead to visa-free contacts, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared at a session of the Russian government on Thursday which was devoted to the ratification of an agreement on facilitating a visa regime between Russia and the United States.
"I am confident this will promote development of Russo-U.S. economic, cultural, humanitarian contacts; we hope that in the long run such bills will create a basis for future visa-free contacts between citizens of the two countries," Medvedev said.
The agreement discussed on Thursday envisages shortening formalities for issuance of visas and lengthening a period of uninterrupted presence of citizens in the respective countries, Medvedev explained.
Russia and the United States signed the agreement on Bali (Indonesia) on November 19 by means of the exchange of respective notes by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The agreement stipulates requirements for issuance of short-term official visas, and also business, private, humanitarian and tourists visas by Russia and visas of the V1/V2 categories by the United States.
The two sides agreed to issue multiple-entry visas for the presence on each other's territory for no more than six months since the entry date and valid for 36 months since the date of issuance.
Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich explained that the agreement was subject to ratification by the Russian Federal Assembly because multiple entry visas to be issued to businessmen and tourists and valid for three years had not been authorized by the Russian law until now.