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MOSCOW, October 11 (Itar-Tass) — Russia is not abandoning the attempts to secure at least partial visa-free travel with Europe, the "Kommersant" writes. The newspaper learnt that a new proposal came to the European parliament from Russian lawmakers on easing the Russia-EU visa regime. The lawmakers proposed to cancel visas for the Russian citizens who regularly visit Schengen zone countries. The authors of the idea hope that the Europeans will answer as early as November. But European parliamentarians stated that the review of the new Russian initiative would take time.
Lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Pavel Tarakanov, one of the authors of the initiative, who had drawn it together with the Youth Public Chamber of Russia, told the newspaper about the proposal to cancel the Schengen visas for the Russian coming to Europe on regular flights. Late last week, State Duma deputies met with a group of young lawmakers from the European parliament. According to Tarakanov, his initiative is simple: Russians can enter Europe with just a foreign travel passport and return ticket on hand. "Europeans are concerned about their security above all: what if foreigners smuggle in weapons or drugs?" he explained. But Europeans saw with their own eyes how tough the checks at Russian airports are, stricter than at any European airport." He rejected the possibility that the initiative would case a wave of illegal immigration of Russians to Europe: "Everybody who wanted to leave for Europe for good, did so in the 1990s."