The European Union
commits to the establishment of visa-free regime with Russia, confirmed the President of
the European Commission (EC) Jose Manuel Barroso last Friday. «We commit to
this goal, but we haven’t reached it yet», - he said at the press-conference
dedicated to the results of the 30th Russia-EU Summit in Brussels. Mr. Barroso did not mention any
possible deadlines for the visa waiver, but noted the progress in the visa
regime facilitation. “We talked about the fact that we are moving closer to
simplifying, and finally to waiving the visas. We think, as a result we must
work for the benefit of the European and Russian citizens. The strategic goal
is visa-free regime between Russia
and the EU», - said Mr. Barroso.
Having noted that in
2011 the EU issued over five million Schengen visas for the Russians, Mr.
Barroso said that the number of Russian visas issued for the EU citizens has
increased by 62% within the last two years. Upon that he stated that an updated
agreement on visa regime facilitation between the Russian Federation and the EU must
be signed. “This will become an important step in positive dynamics of setting
a visa free regime”, - said the head of the European Commission. He noted
progress in implementation of joint steps to short-trips visa-free regime
The agreement between
the Russian Federation
and the EU on visa facilitation was signed in 2006, recalls RIA Novosti.
In his turn, the
President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin noted that during the
negotiations in Brussels, visa-free regime for
short-term trips between Russia
and the EU was discussed. “I believe almost all technical
issues for visa-free regime introduction are solved – now; it’s only a
political decision of the European colleagues left", - he said.
The President called
the absence of a visa-free regime harmful for trade-economic relations’
development. «I’m convinced the ball is on the side of our European partners,
and I believe they don't doubt it as well. It’s been four years we have the
readmission agreement. The decisions on the external borders protection are
made and implemented”, - said Mr. Putin.