EKATERINBURG, June 4 (Itar-Tass) - Russia believes a visa-free agreement with the EU can be reached within 2014, Vladimir Chizhov, Russian ambassador to the European Union, told reporters on the sidelines of the Russia-EU summit.
He said the summit assessed progress, including in joint steps for transition to the visa-free regime. Chizhov said progress in this matter “is, perhaps, slower than one would like,” but still there is certain progress.
He said there is a real chance before the end of the year “to conclude joint steps and to note that they have been taken.” “There is an opportunity to hold talks next year, and, perhaps, we could coordinate the text of the visa-free agreement within the year,” Chizhov stressed.
As to the modernization of the operating 2006 Visa Facilitation Agreement, the ambassador said, “We are practically at an arms’ length from its completion.” “Just one step remains to be taken,” the diplomat said.