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Russia hopes talks with EU on visa-free short trips may begin soon

December 20, 2012, 21:22 UTC+3

"A list of joint steps that would be desirable on both sides was coordinated a year ago," Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hopes Moscow and the European Union will be able soon to go over to talks on abolishing travel visas for short trips by Russian citizens to the EU and citizens of European countries to Russia.

As he spoke to the Euronews TV channel, Lavrov recalled Russian President /Vladimir Putin/ has put forward an idea of setting up a single economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In the light of it, it is important for the two sides to go over to the abolition of travel visas as early as possible if one takes up the purely human dimension of that space,

“A list of joint steps that would be desirable on both sides was coordinated a year ago,” Lavrov said. “It includes the issuance of biometric passports, a buildup of efficiency of border controls, and the signing of an agreement on readmissions.”

“Work on all these things is in progress already,” he said. “We visit EU countries and the European Commission President visits Russia to see what actions are being taken in connection with the list of joint steps.”

“I hope we’ll be able to familiarize each other with the steps that have been taken and we’ll be able to go over immediately to the talks on abolition of visas for short trips,” Lavrov said.

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