Politics hampering switch to visa-free travel between Russia and EU, according to Luxemburg premier

Politics is standing in the way of a transition to visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union, Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Euro Group President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

It seems to be mostly a political problem, Juncker told the Russia Today television station on Tuesday, commenting on the reasons behind slow progress on this issue.

It is necessary to abstract oneself from the Cold War atmosphere, he said.

Some Western countries, some EU members still view Russia as an opponent, not a partner and an ally, he said.

Juncker said that he does not share this approach.

The two sides will not succeed if they do not start to move in one direction, he said.

The issue of visa-free travel is not just symbolic, but it is also of an applied nature because it will allow official passport holders to travel freely across Europe, Luxembourg's prime minister said.

It is necessary to understand that when politicians promise that something will happen very soon, it will actually take more time to happen, he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Interfax on Sept. 20 that Moscow was certain that the possibility of switching to visa-free travel between Russia and the EU before 2014 was quite realistic.

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