Will Russia Turkey to ease visa regime?

 Will Russia Turkey to ease visa regime?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu will discuss the possible easing of the visa regime for the two countries’ citizens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We confirm the need to liberalize the visa regime for some categories of citizens. The Russian side expects to boost the effectiveness of cooperation of the corresponding agencies of the two countries in the fight against international terrorism and organized criminality," TASS cited the statement as saying.

The negotiations with Lavrov on March 14 will dominate Cavusoglu’s program. The sides plan to discuss their positions on major issues of the bilateral agenda, analyze the implementation of the agreements reached by the Russian and Turkish presidents and study the implementation of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and Turkish Stream gas pipeline projects. 

In addition, Cavusoglu will take part in the sixth meeting of the Joint Group for Strategic Planning chaired by the two countries’ foreign ministers. The Turkish minister plans to discuss preparations for a top-level meeting of the Council of Cooperation. He will also take part in the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MIIT).

An associate professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara), Togrul Ismail, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Turkey canceled the visa regime for Russian citizens along time ago and expects the same in return. "Any citizen of Russia can visit Turkey with a common passport and stay in the country for 30 days without a visa. It is important for Turkey to improve trade with Russia, which requires a visa-free regime that allows Turkish citizens to buy a ticket and fly to Russia immediately. This will increase the flow of tourists from Turkey to the Russian Federation," he said.

In addition, Turkey is ready to introduce a passport-free visiting regime for Russian citizens. "There is a possibility of visiting the country without a passport for a number of countries, including Ukraine and Georgia, and for Russian citizens this procedure is also quite feasible. Our relations have returned to the pre-crisis level, and the visa-free regime between Turkey and Russia, free movement of our citizens with identity cards will allow us to bring our ties to a new stage," Togrul Ismail stressed.

Political scientist Orhan Gafarli drew attention to the strategic importance of Russia as a partner of Turkey in business. "Economic contacts between Russia and Turkey are expanding day by day, Turkish companies want to invest in Russia, and they need more comfortable living and working conditions. Russia today, tomorrow and in the future is Turkey's important strategic economic partner, and for more effective cooperation it would be useful to remove visa restrictions for Turkish business," he said.

"I think that the parties are ready for this. First, Turkish intelligence and the police are working very well, fighting terrorism, which can be a guarantee of protection against the penetration of terrorists into Russia. Russia had previously stressed that the threat of terrorism prevents the complete removal of the visa regime, but now the Turkish side has done much to eliminate this danger. Terrorism issue can be raised, discussed at the top level and thus ensure that terrorists will not enter Russia through Turkey," Orhan Gafarli concluded.

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