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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) —Russia and the United States have facilitated a visa regime between the two countries; citizens of both countries will be able to get multiple entry visas now, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
On August 10 the two sides exchanged diplomatic notes to the effect that an Agreement on facilitating visa formalities for citizens of Russia and the United States goes into effect as of September 9.
The agreement envisages issuance of multiple entry visas to citizens of both countries for a term of six months since every entry date and valid for a term of 36 months since the date of issuance. Russia will issue business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas on direct invitations of the host side; the United States will issue tourist visas of B1/B2 category. Decisions on visa applications be made as a rule within 15 days since the work on a visa application begins, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Agreement has abolished a previously required official invitation U.S. citizens should have received to visit Russia; nevertheless, U.S. citizens who wish to visit Russia still need either a hotel reservation or a tour to Russia booked at travel agency. It is noteworthy that if a U.S. citizen loses his/ her passport on the territory of Russia no other special entry visa is needed any more. The U.S embassy in Moscow has recommended to its citizens who are planning to visit Russia to follow the embassy website for additional information.
The Agreement was drafted in conformity with a joint statement on cooperation in business which was made by the Russian and U.S presidents in Deauville on May 26, 2011 and concluded in the form of an exchnage of notes on Bali on November 19. 2011. The Russian State Duma passed the document on July 6; the Federation Council approved it on July 18. The document was finally ratified in Russia in the end of July 2012.
The Agreement aims to create more favorable conditions for mutual visits of citizens of Russia and the United States and promote further development of economic, cultural, scientific and humanitarian contacts between the two countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.