Turkey, Russia to discuss lifting visa regime for Turks in fall, Moscow says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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Turkey and Russia will discuss the lifting of visa requirements for Turkish citizens in fall, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"The most appropriate professional platform for discussing visa issues is bilateral consultations between experts on consular matters. And such consultations between consular experts are scheduled for autumn," ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during a press briefing.

Following talks between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the two countries decided to establish a mechanism to draft agreements regarding the mutual simplification of the travel regime for certain categories of citizens, she added.

The relations between the two countries rapidly deteriorated as a Russian bomber jet was shut down by Turkey in Nov. 2015 for violating its border with Syria. Russia imposed a range of economic sanctions as a response, including an end to visa free travel.

After a quick recovery in bilateral relations, the two countries rapidly increased military and economic cooperation.

As Turkey enjoys millions of Russian tourist arrivals, Ankara argues that visa liberalization would significantly boost the number of Turkish tourists in Russia.

Meanwhile, Vice President Fuat Oktay said Thursday that Turkish citizens would soon be able to travel to Moldova with only national ID cards.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Moldovan embassy on the country's Independence Day, Oktay said Ankara and Chisinau have already completed legal consultations for the initiation of passport-free travel between the two countries.

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