Russia is planning to ease tourist visa requirements for ‘friendly states’, including India

Russia is planning to introduce visa-free travel for citizens of up to 11 countries as well as ease entry requirements for citizens of six others, including India, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced earlier in the week.

“We are working on facilitating a completely visa-free regime with about eleven countries. With six more, including India, Indonesia, we are looking to ease the conditions. And let’s not forget that we are working on lifting restrictions on the issuance of electronic visas to a large number of countries, there are about 70 countries, with the exception of unfriendly ones, which have stopped issuing visas to us in a simplified manner,” state-run TASS quoted him as saying at a government hour in the State Duma.

The Russian minister also said that the country is planning to re-start the e-visa scheme it had introduced before Covid struck.

“Electronic visas were approved three years ago, then the covid intervened, then we lifted the covid restrictions last summer, but given the unfriendly actions of the West, including in the area of issuing visas to Russians, the government was instructed to report before June 1 on the possibility of starting the implementation of the previously adopted decisions on the issuance of electronic visas. I think that there will be no questions for friendly countries,” he added.

In September, Russia announced it was working on plans to extend, first the e-visa facility to India, before letting Indians travel visa-free.