The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed during the last meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS), the establishment of a single visa regime and migration rules for the territory of the CIS countries.

During the summit, which was attended by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, President Tokayev said that the regime could resemble the Schengen regime, and enable foreigners to enter all CIS countries with a single visa named “Commonwealth Visa”.

“Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed confidence that this approach would significantly increase the tourist flow, while pointing out to the need for serious joint work of experts,” a press release of the Kazakh Presidency reads.

According to the press release, the President also asserted that the CIS member countries have significant potential for cooperation in tourism, an industry he is sure brings great dividends to many countries of the world.

Each country of the Commonwealth has its own unique recreational, natural landscape and historical sites. They can adequately complement the list of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world,” the President is quoted to have said.

Last year in August, the Kazakh authorities had suggested the establishment of an “Asian Schengen” zone, as well as the creation of a universal visa for the Central Asian countries. According to the proposal, the establishment of a common visa called the Silk Visa would enable foreigners to visit five countries of this region, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

On the other hand, only this month three Western Balkan countries, Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia have agreed on the establishment of a free movement zone of people, goods, services, and capital, which they have called “Balkan’s mini-Schengen”. The initiative is open to the three other Western Balkan countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

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