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MOSCOW, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian tourists will have no problems with obtaining visas to Italy, Italian Ambassador to Russia Cesare Maria Ragaglini said at the Moscow International Travel and Tourism exhibition (MITT), opened at the Expocentre in Moscow on March 19.
“If we consider the issue in the context of Ukrainian developments, the situation is not so dramatic, in our opinion. The Italian Consulate will continue issuing visas as usual,” Ragaglini said. “I want to say that Russians do not have to worry. They will have no problems with visas.”
The ambassador noted that “Italy is trying to make the visa procedure as easy as possible”. The deadline for issuing a visa has been reduced to 48-72 hours.
“We can also say that the number of multi-entry visas has increased year on year by 157%,” he said.
Ragaglini said Russian tourists made about 1.1 million overnight stops in Italian hotels in 2013.
“This is a significant growth which indicates that Russian people’s interest in Italy grows every year,” he added.
According to the Italian embassy in Russia, about 1.2 million Russian tourists visited the republic in 2013. The total number of visas issued by the Italian General Consulates in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2013 amounted to 770,000 — 22% more than in 2012.