A number of countries are expressing interest in reducing visa requirements for travel to and from Russia in a bid to encourage trade and tourism between countries.
Firstly Iran’s Ambassador to Russia has announced that Tehran is ready to enter into discussions to abolish the requirements for a visa to travel from Russia. It has been reported that Russians are preparing to lift visa requirements for Iranians travelling to Russia via package tours and vice versa. Iran has added that they are fully prepared to lift all visa requirements for Russian citizens visiting Iran.
Whilst no discussion have yet officially been entered into there have concerted efforts to step up tourism between the two countries and since November is has hoped that hope to sign an inter-governmental agreement on cancelling visa requirements for tourists who book package tours via travel agencies. Iran is currently working on an investment package of $25bn to revitalise their tourist industry.
Meanwhile, media in Japan have announced that the government is in talks with Russian officials to ease single entry visa requirements for Russian citizens. More than half a million Russian visit Japan each year with a similar number of Japanese travelling to Russia and it is hoped that the easing of visa restrictions will encourage trade and tourism travel between the two countries.
Among the suggestions for visa easing is the duration of multiple visas being extended from three years to five years and the abolishment of single entry visas between the countries. Clearly discussion are in their early stages and have a long way to go before any formal announcements are made but the moves by both Japan and Iran are signs that Russia is beginning to expand its reach on the international stage once again following condemnation over Russians intervention in Ukraine back in 2014.
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