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Visa-free regime with the EU countries - what can you expect?

Visa (from Latin "seen") - a document granting the right to cross borders, ie, allowing a foreigner to enter the territory of a particular country. Visas are usually issued by embassies or consulates of the countries concerned. Visa-free regime is an order of international relations when citizens of other states do not need permission to enter the country. Such a regime can be established between certain countries in a bilateral or unilateral manner, or under a multilateral agreement. The most famous example of such an agreement is the countries of the Schengen zone. It includes 27 states that signed the same-name agreement in 1985 in Schengen (Luxembourg). Almost all the countries of the European Union enter the Schengen zone, within which visa-free regime operates for the member countries of the agreement, and border control with uniform rules of entry and exit established by the agreement exists at the borders.

As for citizens of other countries, they can get into the zone by Schengen visa. For Russians, Ukrainians and other residents of Eastern Europe, a tourist trip to any of the EU member states is associated with a lot of hassle and costs for obtaining a visa, the cost of which is by no means small. Therefore, many countries, including Russia, seek to abolish mandatory visas for their fellow citizens.
In response to proposals from countries that are not included in the Schengen zone, on the abolition of the visa regime, the leadership of the European Union puts forward its demands. They concern the introduction of legislative amendments by the applicant countries, which mainly regulate the fight against illegal immigration, crime and international terrorism. Many countries (Ukraine, Moldova, etc.) are making numerous legislative concessions to the EU leadership in the hope of obtaining a visa-free regime.

As for our country, the visa - free regime for Russians is still a pipe dream. Negotiations between the country's leadership and the European Union have been going on for several years now, 17 European states are in favor of switching to a visa-free regime with Russia , while others (Britain, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and the Netherlands) are in no hurry With consent. A year ago, a document was prepared on joint steps for the transition to a visa-free regime. According to this agreement, approved by the EU leadership, it was planned to introduce a visa-free regime for citizens of our country in stages, subject to certain conditions. The main one was the requirement to introduce biometric service passports. But the agreements reached during the talks have not yet been implemented.

The European Union motivates its refusal to abolish mandatory visas for holders of such passports with the fear that passports will not always be issued legally. In response, Russia proposed to exclude from the holders of service passports the category of servicemen and employees of embassies and missions. But, nevertheless, the situation is not resolved. The debate on the introduction of a visa-free regime for Russia has been going on for about nine years. The reasons for delaying the decision are, most likely, not administrative, but political.

The Russian side is not satisfied with such results. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Foreign Ministry Anvar Azimov expressed bewilderment at the fact that the EU leadership, having concluded an agreement on visa-free regime with more than 50 countries, is in no hurry to sign it with Russia. In response, our country since November 2012, was canceled visa-free regime for crews arriving from the EU aircraft.
At present (as of early January 2013), the possibility of visa-free entry for our fellow citizens exists in such countries as Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, South Korea , Ecuador, Vietnam, Brazil, Cuba, Macedonia, Israel and several others.

Visa-free regime with the United States for Russia is also not yet established. The maximum achieved result is the legislative consolidation of the right of Russians to three-year visas, adopted in September 2012. This practice has already occurred in the 90s. At the same time, the percentage of refusals to issue visas to Russians (often without explanation) is growing, while for other countries this percentage is steadily declining. Undoubtedly, the adoption of any decisions depends on specific executors, but the leaders of states should pay attention to changes in the mentality of Russian citizens in modern conditions.

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