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Russia-EU visa free regime not to be introduced in 2014

December 06, 2013, 13:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's Foreign Ministry: no EU country objects to visa-free regime with Russia, problem is in timeline

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© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Denisov

MOSCOW, December 06. /ITAR-TASS/. The visa free regime between Russia and the European Union will not be introduced in 2014, Russian Foreign Ministry ambassador at large Anvar Azimov said on Friday.

“It is obvious we’ll unable to do this by the Olympic Games in Sochi. By the nature and level of the work, which is being done with our partners, we’ll unable to introduce the visa free regime in 2014,” Azimov said.

“We’d like to end the main work by 2014 - to prepare a draft agreement in order to keep pledges and statements by the Russian and EU leaders,” the diplomat said, adding that Russia was ready to cancel visas “even yesterday”.

No EU country objects to the introduction of a visa-free regime with Russia, the problem is in timeline, Azimov said.

“I have visited all countries, including the Baltic states. The problem is in timeline. Russia was prepared to cancel the visa regime ‘even yesterday’,” he added.

“We disagree with the political approach towards holding down Russia,” Azimov said.

The diplomat also said that Russia and the European Union have agreed on the number of service passports within easing the visa formalities.

“There is no misunderstanding on categories and the number of service passports. There are about 15,000 service passports now. We said the number would not exceed 16,000,” Azimov said.

“The EU countries have over 180,000 service passports,” the diplomat said.

Russia excluded servicemen and representatives of state corporations from this list, he added.

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