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Russia mulling abolition of visas for Indians: Minister

Russia on Friday said it is mulling abolition of visas for Indian businessmen and tourists and a decision in this regard could come soon.



New Delhi: Russia on Friday said it is mulling abolition of visas for Indian businessmen and tourists and a decision in this regard could come soon.

Russian authorities are discussing abolition of visas for Indian businessmen and tourists, Russia's Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said here a day after President Vladimir Putin's visit.

Abolition of visas mainly for entrepreneurs and also for tourists was discussed, he said after a meeting with the leadership of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

It is discussed regularly in Russia, "The next step is abolition of visas for tourists and entrepreneurs. We constantly discuss it, and I think the process to settle it will not be long," Manturov told the Russian Itar-TASS news agency.

The minister did not comment on when visas would be abolished, saying it was under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry and migration services.

Last month, India launched the much-awaited electronic visa facility for visitors from 43 countries, including Russia.

Now, a visitor from these countries will just have to apply for an e-visa on the designated website and pay the fee online to get an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) within 72 hours.

In a boost to their "special strategic partnership", Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India besides manufacturing advanced dual-use helicopters as the two countries signed 20 agreements in oil, gas, defence, investment and other key sectors yesterday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Putin, in their annual summit, also vowed to take the close ties to a "new level" as both sides outlined a new vision and expand manifold cooperation oil, gas, electric power production and nuclear energy.

 

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