Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that a 72-hour visa-free entry for foreign tourists should be applied under a principle of reciprocity with other countries, but Russia should not open its doors wide to those mistreating it.
"It seems to me that what we could do now is not to stop in our work but look at how the so-called reciprocity model can be applied for this bill. But now we do many things on a reciprocity basis. It is no secret there are some nations out there, which do not treat us very well; but why should we open wide," Medvedev said at a meeting regional members of the United Russia Party in Novosibirsk.
What one should not say in a situation like this is "You are very welcome, at least for 72 hours, we won't even ask for visas from you," the premier said.
"After all, there is the national sovereignty, and we must treat it with respect. But those prepared to create similar conditions for our tourists, those states could probably expect similar conditions, similar rules to be extended to their tourists. It seems to me that it is in this vein that we should continue working on this bill," Medvedev said.
One of the meeting attendees raised the issue of State Duma considering changes to the federal law for foreign nationals traveling to and from the Russian Federation.
"There is such a bill, and if it goes through, I think it should extend to various territories. I see no major obstacle, for instance, to it - provided it goes through - extending to your airports and to your region," said the head of state.
The bill initially stipulated visa-free entry at sea ports, he said. "The bill has passed its first reading, it is being debated. But there are government departments, including the Culture Ministry, Rosturizm (Federal Tourism Agency), there are government agencies which have expressed their doubts about this bill because it involves security issues and several other aspects," Medvedev said.
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