Russia offers compromise to overcome impasse with service passports to EU

Russia has offered to the European Union a compromise to break a stalemate over the signing of a new agreement on relaxed visa procedures caused by differences on service passports, Russia's envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Interfax.

"The Russian side made a compromise offer in order to break this stalemate. We propose to extended such procedures only to holders of biometrical service passports," Chizhov said.

"The issue is about an agreement adapting the existing agreement dated 2006," he said.

"This is not something new, in fact this the updating of the text. There is a number of provisions that specify and to a certain extent expand the current agreement. But we got stuck on one issue which is the extension of visa-free regime given to holders of diplomatic passports under the 2006 agreement to holders of other service passports," Chizhov said.

The resolution of this issue requires the qualified majority in the EU, he said.

The issue of adapting the 2006 agreement will be one of the topics at a meeting of the Russia-EU Permanent Partnership Council in the sphere of freedom, security and justice due in Nicosia on October 2-3.

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