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Indonesia to Scrap Visa Requirement for Russians in Bid to Boost Tourism

Indonesia, an Asia-Pacific nation of 3,000 islands, will begin letting Russians visit without a visa next month in an effort to boost tourism, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported Tuesday.

Only 9 million foreigners visited Indonesia last year, while upwards of 26 million visited Thailand and Malaysia, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was cited as saying.

As of next month, Indonesia will allow citizens of a total of 45 countries to visit without a visa, the report said.

"By waiving visa requirements, we can attract more tourists than Thailand or Malaysia in two years," the tourism minister was quoted as saying.

Russian tourists currently need to pay $35 for a visa to visit Indonesia. The visa, valid for up to one month, can be purchased upon arrival at an international airport in the country.  

About 100,000 Russians visited Indonesia in 2013, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing Indonesian government statistics.

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