Russia Visa Waiver Will Help Forge Strategic Ties

Russia Visa Waiver Will Help Forge Strategic TiesRussia Visa Waiver Will Help Forge Strategic Ties

A lawmaker said Russia's decision to remove visa requirement for Iranian travelers is another step for taking bilateral relations to a strategic level. Ardeshir Nourian, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Saturday.

"Tourism and economy are two sectors of cooperation between states whose enhancement usually leads to better ties in all [other] sectors," he said. Oleg Safonov, the head of Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, announced that Russia has started the process of removing visa requirement for Iranians and Indians, while describing Iran as one of the safest destinations for Russian tourists.

Nourian said the two countries already have close political and economic cooperation and security coordination in the region.

"Russia's readiness to remove visa requirement for Iran conveys a very clear and important message that the two countries are serious about working to advance common interests and there is increased trust between them," he said. According to statistics by the Russian agency, Iran is among the top 20 sources of tourists traveling to Russia. Russia has issued over 35,000 visas for Iranians last year and predicts that the number will increase twofold this year.

Last November, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tehran, the two countries signed an agreement based on which visa requirements were relaxed in February.


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