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No visas between EU, Russia in 2020?


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The leaders of Russia, Germany, and France issued a joint statement paving the way for a visa-free agreement between Russia and the European Union. Dmitry Medvedev, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy expressed the hope that the Russia-EU summit in December 2010 would see progress in bilateral talks on scrapping visas. “We will work with Russia in an atmosphere of trust especially on the issue of visas,” Sarkozy told a press conference after talks with Medvedev and Merkel. He said visas between Russia and EU could be abolished in 10-15 years. Medvedev said the process should have its “road map.”

Moscow has made visa-free travel between Russia and the EU a foreign policy priority. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rebuked the EU in late September 2010 for dragging its heels on the issue, saying that Russia wanted a “clear answer.” Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi backed the plan in July 2010, but said several EU countries opposed it. Finland’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Stubb, has also expressed Finnish support for visa-free travel between the EU and Russia. Russia submitted a draft agreement on scrapping visas at the Russia-EU summit held in Rostov-on-Don on 31 May 2010.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20101019/161010463.html


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