Russia hopes to sign visa relaxation accord with EU before yearend

Moscow hopes to sign a visa relaxation agreement with the European Union before the end of 2013, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador at Large Anvar Azimov said.

Moscow hopes to sign a visa relaxation agreement with the European Union before the end of 2013, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador at Large Anvar Azimov said.

"We expect the signing of the updated agreement before the end of this year. This will require political will to be demonstrated by EU member states. Russia has demonstrated its will and the ball is in now in Brussels' court," he told Interfax on Monday.

"Russia met its partners halfway in their proposals regarding unsettled issues in official passport categories. We are waiting for a final answer from Brussels," Azimov said.

"Russia is expecting Brussels to make the right decision, which will finally accelerate the signing of an updated agreement regarding the relaxation of visa regime formalities," he noted.

Azimov's European counterpart, European Commission Director General for Home Affairs Stefano Manservisi also said earlier that Russia and the EU might relax visa formalities already in 2013.

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