Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry: Simplified Visa Mode Impossible for Russia and Britain Just Now

11 July 2011 (10:15)

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry admits that it is impossible at the moment to simplify the existing visa regimes for Russia and Great Britain, the Association of Russian Tour Operators reports.

According to the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, the current British visa requirements, including extended waiting periods, are a source of numerous problems for tourists. However, there is no reason to hope things can change any time soon.

‘Britain is not prepared to sign any simplified visa regime agreements with Russia just now,’ Lavrov announced via his account at

In his interview to Russia 24 TV channel Lavrov also said that the subject of the current negotiations with the British party is not even the abandonment of any visas but only a simplified visa mode that had been agreed upon with the EU a few years back.

The said agreement with the EU only applies to the countries of the Schengen area, thus Great Britain remains excluded. In principle, this simplified visa mode approach appears logical to me. Nevertheless, our partners are not ready for this yet,’ the Minister noted.

Sergey Lavrov also observed that the British called for keeping the current rules unchanged.

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