BRUSSELS, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Practically all technical aspects for introducing a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union have been settled, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“I believe that practically all technical aspects linked with the introduction of a visa-free regime have been settled,” he said at a news conference after the Russian-European Union summit. “Now it is up to our European colleague to take a political decision.”
“Every year, Russian tourists spend about 18 billion euro in shops in the European Union countries. No doubt, it is a big figure, and taking into account the fact that this year our trade turnover will reach 400 billion, the importance of trade and economic ties is very high,” Putin noted. “Eventually, the lack of a visa-free travel regime holds back the development of economic ties.”
At the same time, the Russian leader said he was aware that to take a decision, the European Union must reach an agreement among its 27 member countries. “Well, we shall wait until our European partners are ripe for this decision,” he added.