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MOSCOW, September 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia hopes for signing a visa cancellation agreement with the European Union at the December 2013 summit, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy, Anvar Azimov, said on Thursday.
“The main task today is to try to produce this agreement by the end of 2013 with the aim to effect it as of January 2014," Azimov said. It all depends not on technical readiness, but on a political decision.”
At the same time the diplomat pointed out that in any case Russia should be prepared to take the maximum steps to liberalize the visa regimen for the guests of the Olympic Games in Sochi. However, he complained that Brussels was evasive, whenever it came to setting any specific dates.
Russia already has agreements with six EU countries on the cancellation of visas for the holders of office passports. He did not specify what the countries where, though.
An agreement on office passports may be achieved before the Russia-EU summit in Brussels in December.
“Some EU states issue visas to those Russians who apply for a second time for a year or two, and some for five years, “ the diplomat said. “We shall be prepared to issue visas for five years. This will stimulate contacts in various spheres.”