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MOSCOW, September 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian-US agreement on the mutual simplification of visa formalities comes into force this Sunday.
In accordance with the document, three-year visas will be issued to allow Russian and U.S. citizens to visit each other's country several times and stay for six months after the arrival.
The Russian Federation will issue business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas when direct invitations from citizens and organizations are received, and the United States will issue visas of the B1/B2 category (business/tourism). Visas will be issued as a rule within 15 days after the application is received.
Moscow believes that the agreement will not only facilitate economic, cultural, scientific and humanitarian ties between the two countries, but also create favourable conditions for further steps to liberalize the bilateral visa regime and finally abolish it.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said the United States sought to abolish visas with Russia. About 160,000 Russians have already received U.S. visas this year. It is a record, the diplomat noted.
According to the ambassador, the agreement is a great step forward and a new sign in bilateral relations.