Russian minister proposes abolishing visas for Indian citizens

Russian minister proposes abolishing visas for Indian citizens

Russian authorities are discussing abolition of visas for Indian businessmen and tourists, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told TASS news agency Friday.

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

"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 said.

The minister did not say when the visa regime would be abolished, saying it was under the jurisdiction of the foreign ministry and migration services.

"We are interested to have progress in this and will provide possible assistance for the colleagues," he said.

Manturov did not say whether India would also abolish visas for Russians, but traditionally such steps are made on a mutual basis.

Earlier, India introduced electronic visas for citizens of more than 40 countries, including Russia. A person is not required to apply to the Indian embassy, a consulate or a special centre to receive a visa.

A traveller must fill a form on the special website and pay a fee by a bank card no later than four days before the trip.

An electronic visa may be granted for up to 30 days no more than twice a year for tourist and business trips, medical treatment or visiting friends and relatives in India.

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