MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently discussed how to loosen visa requirements or introduce visa-free entry for certain countries.
Putin referred to his conversation with Lavrov at a Business Russia meeting on Friday, in response to a businessman’s proposal to introduce multiple three-year visas for foreign investors from friendly countries, and voiced other measures that could make their visits to Russia easier.
"You won’t believe it, but about two days ago I talked to Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] about this, referring to various regions of the world. [We even discussed] the introduction of a possible visa-free regime for some. He immediately said to me, ‘But we get money for that. Who will compensate us for shortfalls [in revenues]?" the president said with a smile.
Hearing this, the businessman suggested, "Let’s charge them more for the long visa," to which Putin agreed with a laugh, "We can!"
"I want you to know that I am absolutely on your side," the president said, adding that reciprocity is usual practice in such cases.
"But we live in special conditions today, and here we need to think not about reciprocity in the classical sense of the word, but about the expediency for the country in any of our actions. Therefore, we will definitely be working on this, and the Foreign Ministry has such an instruction. So does both law enforcement and special services, and therefore all our colleagues can take part and make a balanced decision," he explained.
In addition, the president touched upon the proposal to waive requirements for highly qualified specialists, reduce the frequency of medical examinations and shorten the visa issuance period.
"As far as medical examinations are concerned, these issues have been brought up for many years, and we also need to have some common sense here. Everything should be done taking into account common sense and expediency for the country. We have something to work on, and we will work on it," Putin concluded.