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Russia to be unable to arrange visa-free traveling with EU without tougher border control

April 14, 2013, 22:31 UTC+3

One of the problems at the top of the list is the non-observance of sanitary norms

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AKSARAISKAYA STATION, Astrakhan region, April 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will not be able to reach agreements with Europe on visa-free traveling if it does not tighten control over its state borders, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Sunday.

He made a trip to Aksaraiskaya station in the Astrakhan region on the border between Russia and Kazakhstan where he inspected a Tajikistani passenger train bound for Moscow and attended a special process meeting where officials of the Russian border service and other departments concerned informed him on the problems found on passenger trains from the former Soviet Central Asian republics.

“We’re now seeking an agreement with the EU on a definite liberalization of relations and visa-free traveling […] but no one will ever let us into Europe if we permit immigration laxities of this kind on our own borders,” Rogozin told reporters upon the end of the meeting.

One of the problems at the top of the list is the non-observance of sanitary norms, he said.

“Passengers /from Central Asian countries/ arrive in this country on the trains that simply aren’t meant for the transportation of people,” Rogozin said as he shared his impressions about what he had seen inside the Dushanbe-Moscow train.

“The sanitary condition /of coaches/ is horrifying and something should be done about it because we are not a raceway,” he said.

“We should tap the solutions that will enable us to control the state border and to prevent the arrival of illegal migrants, as well as the emergence here of the things we wouldn’t like to see here at all,” Rogozin said.

Russia’s Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko, who stands at the head of the consumer rights watchdog agency Rospotrebnadzor examined the Dushanbe-Moscow train along with Dmitry Rogozin.

“All the dishes need a replacement there and the dining car must be removed from the train altogether,” Onishchenko told Rogozin about his findings. “How on earth can they do this cruising without a fridge? And how can they cook these meals?”

He also called attention to the fact that the dining car was equipped with sleeping births for the personnel who were short of space in the staff coach.

“There you are, I see,” Rogozin answered.

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