Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not consider the unilateral abolition of visas for foreigners traveling to Russia's Kaliningrad region expedient and favors the mutual abolition of visas between Russia and the European Union.
"The key future scenario is the mutual limitation and abolition of visas between Russia and the European Union. We continue to work on that because we think that Russia is absolutely ripe for visa-free travel with the European Union," Medvedev said during a live video link-up with the Baltic Artek-2012 international youth forum on Monday.
Russia is no threat to the EU, he said. "They have their own problems to address. It remains to be seen who will come and where from, and which side will get more headache if that happens".
In the premier's opinion, non-mutual easing of visa formalities is usually counter-productive. He cited the example of Ukraine, which abolished visas for EU citizens but as the European Union had failed to do the same, "our Ukrainian partners, as I have been told, are now considering bringing back visas".
"We should be a full-fledged state and get our EU partners to follow the 'road map' we agreed upon late last year. We should move forward and fulfill the rules we have mapped out," Medvedev said.
The "road map" commits Russia to adopt a whole set of readmission laws. "We are doing that, and I think that we have good chances of reaching an agreement with our European colleagues on full-fledged visa-free communication in the coming years," Medvedev remarked.
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