MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Moscow and Tel Aviv have worked out mutually beneficial decisions on the problem of Israel’s denial of entry to Russian nationals, and Russia expects that the matter will be settled shortly, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov told journalists on Tuesday.
"An improper behavior of Israeli border guards cannot but cause bewilderment," the diplomat said. "All these issues were discussed. We believe that mutually beneficial solutions have been found. I think that the matter will be settled shortly. It has remained on the agenda of late absolutely rightly," Ivanov added.
The issue was discussed in December within the framework of Russian-Israeli consultations of the consular services, the diplomat specified.
According to the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv, as of December 1, figures for that year show that 5,771 Russian tourists were denied entry to Israel. As many as 568 Russian nationals were not allowed into Israel in October 2019, while in November - 569 were barred from entering. All of them were tourists, arriving in Israel with round-trip tickets, booked and paid for hotels, as well as a sufficient amount of money required for their stay in Israel.
Israel and Russia have visa-free rules for tourist trips since 2008. According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, 316,000 Russian tourists visited the country in 2018. The flow of Russian tourists to Israel was the third-largest after the United States with 897,000 tourists visiting Israel, and France with its 346,000 tourists.