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Visa-free regime for holders of service passports to promote Russian-Chinese partnership

February 28, 2014, 16:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The relevant agreement was signed March 22, 2013 during the Chinese president’s visit to Moscow
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© ITAR-TASS/ Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, February 28. /ITAR-TASS/. A visa-free travel regime for holders of Russian and Chinese service passports will promote strategic partnership between the two countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Friday.

“The relevant agreement was signed March 22, 2013 during the Chinese president’s visit to Moscow,” Morgulov said at a session of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house dedicated to the ratification of Russian-Chinese intergovernmental agreement that simplifies border crossing procedures. “The document is aimed at creating favorable conditions to develop contacts between business people, people of science and sports.” According to Morgulov, the most important novelty of the agreement was the abolition of visa formalities for holders of service passports for 30 days. Apart from that, members of official delegations, except journalists, would need no visas to enter Russia or China. They would be let in if their names were put on an official list, the Russian diplomat added.

“Another important aspect is the possibility of issuing multiple visas for up to two years,” he noted. “And one more novelty is the right for certain categories of citizens, for instance, relatives of officers of diplomatic missions, to stay in a country for up to 180 days.”

This agreement would promote strategic partnership between the two countries, he stressed.

Russia issues about 350,000 entry visas a year to Chinese citizens. “According to our estimates, up to 40,000 Chinese citizens have service passports,” he added.

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