OREANDA-NEWS. The European Union is not going to introduce electronic visas for Russians in response to the simplification of the visa regime on the part of Moscow. This was announced to the Russian media by the head of the EU diplomatic mission in Russia, Markus Ederer. “In its approach to simplifying the procedure for issuing visas, the European Union has always given priority to issuing a large number of multiple visas with a long validity period”, he explained.

Ederer called “a step in the right direction” Russia's decision on October 1, 2019 to start issuing single-entry electronic visas for visiting St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The corresponding decree was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in July.

The final list of states whose citizens will be able to use electronic visas to Russia has not yet been approved. Earlier it was reported that Finland would be included in the list of such states. “The European Union hopes that this regime will apply to citizens of all EU countries and all countries participating in the Schengen agreement, and will also be used to issue multiple-entry visas over time”, Ederer said.

Although the initiative to introduce e-visas will “create incentives for curious tourists and students to make their first trip to Russia”, its positive consequences will be limited, the EU ambassador noted. “The single-entry nature of these visas, which means that travelers will have to apply for a visa every time they want to travel to Russia, as well as their short validity period (30 days) and a short permitted stay (up to eight days) are unlikely to expand business contacts and tourist attraction, ”explained Ederer.

“Both require multiple visas with a long validity period”, he added. Ederer emphasized that the EU remains committed to simplifying the visa regime.