Support The Moscow Times!

Limited Visa-Free Travel Sought

A group of State Duma deputies have appealed to the European Parliament, asking them to scrap visa rules for some Russians who fly into European Union member states, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

Under the initiative, Schengen visas would be dropped for Russians who arrive in Europe on regular flights and have a return ticket, the report said.

The deputies raised the idea with a group of the European Parliament's lawmakers during a brief visit to Moscow last week. The European lawmakers have not commented on the proposal publicly.

The eased visa rules would be a compromise because "the European Union is not ready for such radical steps" as visa-free travel, Duma Deputy Andrei Klimov said in a statement published on United Russia's web site.

Klimov earlier this year suggested abandoning Schengen visas for Russians born after 1989, but the idea was not endorsed by other deputies.

The Kremlin has been lobbying for visa-free travel with the EU since 2002. In July, Moscow and Brussels agreed on a step-by-step plan toward visa-free travel.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.