The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has suggested that Russia should adopt short-term visa-free entry to Russia in order to promote tourism. However, he has insisted that such a move must not be undertaken at the expense of the security of the country.
“We’re not going to achieve anything through bans in tourism or any other areas,” President Putin is quoted to have said during the Business Russia forum held in Moscow this week.
Russia has a very strict visa regime. Currently, only tourists that reach Saint Petersburg on cruise ships are permitted to remain in the city for a maximum of 72 hours. Now Putin wants to expand this practice throughout Russia.
“We must also switch to wider use of electronic visas. It’s obvious,” he said, adding that though the government is already working in this regard, some security agencies and the Foreign Ministry still do not support the idea.
“It has to be acknowledged that their stance is often justified. We live in a complicated world. We must understand that the admiration of our foreign guests isn’t shared by the official bodies of the countries they come from.”
Currently, travelers that wish to visit Russia can enter the country with a Russian Tourist Visa, and stay there for up to 30 days.
In 2018, during which year the Football World Cup was held in Russia, football fans could enter Russia using only a Fan ID and a match ticket. Upon the end of the World Cup, Russia announced that those with Fan IDs could travel to the country until the end of 2018.
At the time of the announcement, Putin congratulated fans from all around the world for their behavior.