The annulment of the visa regime between Russia and the European Union will proceed stage by stage, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov said at a press conference in RIA Novosti.
At the first stage, it is planned to annul the visa regime within the Schengen zone for some categories of people and some types of tours. In the first place this will concern tourist groups and student, scientific and cultural exchanges.
Chizhov admitted that "the annulment of the visa regime is not a question that can be settled immediately or even of tomorrow." "However, the necessary political impetus has been given by the Russia-EU summit in St Petersburg," pointed out the Deputy Foreign Minister.
According to Chizhov, Russia itself has to do a lot to make the annulment of the visa regime possible. "This concerns the strengthening of the migration and border control, especially with regard to the southern borders of Russia. It is also necessary to come to an agreement on enhancing the fight against illegal migration. Negotiations with the European Union will also be held on questions of readmission (the return of illegal migrants)," he explained.
Apart from that, Chizhov noted that Russia did not intend to annul the visa regime with any of the European countries unilaterally. This is a subject of parity agreements, he emphasised.