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Russia Falls in 2020 World Passport Ranking

Russian passport holders can currently travel to 118 countries without a prior visa. RJA1988 / Pixabay

Russia slid to 51st place in a global ranking of passport holders who can travel to other countries without a prior visa, according to a quarterly index published Tuesday.

The Henley & Partners residence and citizenship planning firm ranks the strength of 199 different passports based on the availability of visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 227 destination countries.

The firm’s early 2020 index ranked Russia’s passport 51st out of 199 countries, with 118 available visa-free destinations.

Russia had finished the year 2019 in 48th place overall, when 117 countries were available to its passport holders without a prior visa.

Japan continued to lead the ranking with 191 destinations, followed by Singapore with 190. Germany and South Korea tied in third place with visa-free entry to 189 countries.

“Asian countries’ dominance of the top spots is a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements,” Henley & Partners chairman Christian Kaelin said in a press release.

The 2020 index marked the widest gap between passport holders who enjoyed the highest and lowest travel freedoms since it was first introduced in 2006.

Passport holders from Afghanistan, the perennial last-place finisher, are able to travel visa-free to only 26 countries. Iraq and Syria rounded out the bottom three with 28 and 29 available destinations, respectively.

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