Visa-free travel between Turkey, Russia begins today

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 08.08.2019 00:33

Visa-free travel between Russia and Turkey goes into effect starting today, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement yesterday.

The measure is valid on a reciprocal basis for official and service passport holders as well as for international transport drivers, the statement said. It also includes Turkish special passport holders.

"The agreement on visa exemption signed on May 12, 2010 was partially re-enacted as of Aug. 7, 2019. We expect the full implementation of the agreement," added the statement.

Russia had suspended the visa-free regime in late 2015, amid tensions over the downing of a Russian jet along the Turkish-Syrian border.

This July, Russian President Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to send a notification to Turkish officials about this partial restoration of visa-free travel.

"The Russian move allowing visa-free travel to Turkish citizens is a result of warm relations and dialogue," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, hailing Russia's decision.

The launch of visa-free travel for official and service passport holders was also welcomed by passengers travelling to Russia from Istanbul Airport.

Sertan Akay, a passenger on Turkish Airlines' (THY) flight to Russia, expressed yesterday his happiness with the new visa-free regime as he frequently visits the country.

"The expansion of the visa-free regime to include normal passports is of great importance for commercial relations and businessmen. The new initiative is very promising for Turkish businesspeople," he said.

Dinçer Ateş, a Turkish exporter, also highlighted that the visa-free regime for certain passport groups is significant for deeper economic relations with Russia.

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