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Lavrov: Artificial obstacles block EU visa-free travel

February 18, 2014, 17:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Talks with the European Union on visa-free travel are stalled without good reason, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Political will" was needed, he said after talks with Estonian counterpart Urmas Pazet. "Let us be sincere to say our talks with the EU on that issue are stalled rather artificially. Technically and technologically, practically everything is ready,” said Russia's top diplomat.

The issue reflected a combination of factors, he said. “It is clear to us that travel companies of Russia and Estonia, as well as other travel agencies partnering those of Russia, are interested as this will let them earn more." This would create more comfortable transit conditions.

But other circumstances could not be overlooked, Lavrov said. These were diplomatic practice and tradition, strategic goals and commitment to free movement.

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