Monday, 01 January, 2018

Russia ready to remove visa requirements for Iranians

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Head of Russia’s State Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov says the country has started working toward abolition of visa requirements for Iran and India.

Safanov stated that his country would take quick steps in simplifying visa procedures, adding they are willing to increase Iranian and Indian tourists in Russia.

According to Russia’s State Agency for Tourism, Iran is among first 20 countries visiting Russia each year. More than 35,000 visas have been issued for Iranians last year, and predictions suggest that this number will increase by two times next year.

Safonov has also said Iran was one of the safest places for his country’s citizens.

Iran’s envoy to Russia has already said after the signing of an agreement on easing visa requirements in 2015, this will be a step toward abolition of visas for tourist groups.

An agreement between Russia and Iran to simplify visa issuance procedures came into effect on Feb. 6.

The agreement was signed in Tehran on Nov. 23, 2015 following a meeting of the Russian and Iranian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani.

Iran plans to attract 1-2 million visitors by removing tourist visas for Russian nationals, Iranian Vice President and Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Chief Masoud Soltanifar said in February.

In January, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei suggested that Tehran may unilaterally cancel tourist visas for Russian citizens.

The categories of citizens subject to simplified visa procedures are pupils, students and university teachers of both countries, as well as arts and culture groups. Businessmen and entrepreneurs of any region of Iran and Russia who have an agreement on brotherly relations may obtain a visa upon a written request of a mayor or a governor.

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