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Russia Wants Visa-Free Tourism with India

, Russia Wants Visa-Free Tourism with India, eTurboNews | eTN
Russia Wants Visa-Free Tourism with India
Harry Johnson
Written by Harry Johnson

Russian tourism industry is facing a very difficult challenge of bringing the number of tourist arrivals in the country to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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After introducing visa-free entry for tourist groups from China and Iran earlier this month, Russia announced that it is seeking a visa-free travel deal with India.

According to Russia’s Economic Development Minister, Russian tourism industry is facing a very difficult challenge of bringing the number of tourist arrivals in the country to pre-pandemic levels.

Russian tourism’s desperate situation had also been aggravated by the sanctions and travel restrictions imposed on Russia by the West over the brutal and unprovoked war of aggression launched by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin against neighboring Ukraine.

Russia and China reinstated a visa-free travel agreement for tourist groups that was first negotiated in 2000, but suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal applies to groups of at least five people traveling on a single itinerary and program. A similar arrangement was also reached between Russia and Iran.

On August 1, Russia also rolled out a scheme allowing foreign citizens from 55 countries to obtain an electronic visa for a fee of about $52. The document is valid for 60 days and allows the holder to stay in the country for no more than 16 days.

Now, Russia proposed to India a visa-free scheme, similar to the ones established earlier with Iran and China, that would allow Indian and Russian tourists to visit each other’s countries without visas if they travel in organized tour groups, the minister said.

“India is up next [after China and Iran]. We have sent them a proposal. For now, it is being negotiated through diplomatic channels; we’ll speed up [the process],” the minister added.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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