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MOSCOW, November 26 (Itar-Tass) — Germany will take its own measures to introduce visa free formalities with Russia, German Member of Parliament Philip Missfelder said.
Speaking at the 2nd Russian-German meetings of entrepreneurs at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday, Missfelder, who is also foreign policy spokesman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary-Group, said, “The introduction of visa free travel is one of the most pressing issues of the agenda. The visa regime considerably complicates business relations.”
“The Russian consulates cannot work yet impeccably and there are many reproaches towards the German consulate. The situation has a negative impact on our business-like relations,” the German parliamentarian stressed.
In his view, “Germany should not wait for the Russia-EU visa-free agreement and take its own measures in this direct in order to be ‘a locomotive’ in Europe. Spain has begun this process and has real advantage over Germany.”
“In January-February the German Embassy in Moscow will re-build its activity and work only through the visa centre. We wait for the first results,” Missfeld pointed out.
“Russia is Germany’s key economic partner and an important great power. No conflict, including in the Middle East, Syria or Afghanistan, cannot be resolved without Russia’s participation,” the German parliamentarian stressed.
Meanwhile, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said on Saturday, November 24, that the European Union considers the full cancellation of visas with Russia and Turkey still impossible.
“As minister of interior affairs I should remember about risks in the field of security,” Friedrich said.
In his view, liberalisation of the visa regime with Russia and Turkey is not real at present.
At the same time, he said, “Jointly with the Foreign Ministry we intend to make visa formalities easier for entrepreneurs and allow them to give applications to visa service centres and issue them long-term visas.”
He also stressed that in the mid-term it was necessary to create a system, “which will compensate the loss of control”. “The introduction of online registration can be an example for Europe,” the German interior minister said.
“It is important to know who arrives in the Schengen area and with what goal,” the minister added.